by / January 8th, 2013 /

Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory – Elements of Light

 1/5 Rating

(Rough Trade)

When Hendrik Weber (Pantha Du Prince) switched to Rough Trade Records and released his third LP Black Noise in 2010, tracks like ‘The Splendour’ and ‘Stick To My Side’ re-modernised and reshuffled the whole perception of minimal techno. They were serenely ear-catching, bouncy and full of astounding psychedelic synths. In comparison to Diamond Daze and The Bliss, the Rough Trade debut was a gap filled. His first collaborative album, featuring the Bell Laboratory, differs in its instrumental texture and its plain musical experimentation. No-one could have had slightest idea that the German minimalist was going to form a legit partnership with a Norwegian bell group, even if Black Noise was coated with the instrument on every track.

A first for his large catalogue, ‘Wave’ opens the record with a plain bell intro that is wholly ambient and softly resonant, like something out of an Eno side-project. It isn’t completely atypical of Weber’s previous works though. Five minutes into the second track, ‘Particle’ – a 12-minute opus – the old tech-house vibes of Diamond Daze slip right in. Because it features more natural instruments, such as the bell carillon, the xylophone, the marimba and a handful of percussion, this new experiment appears more orchestral and technical than Pantha Du Prince’s preceding works. He compensates this change with his usual, rhythmically jangling synths that either outweigh or balance with The Bell Laboratory’s input, which is magnificently seen in ‘Spectral Split’. Though it is an exciting new venture by the German artist, much alike his first two albums, there are gaps to be filled with this new style.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube