Pantha du Prince-Black Noise

[Rough Trade; 2010]

From the first moments of opener “Lay in a Shimmer”, it’s clear that we’re in for a different kind of Pantha du Prince album. The track begins with a cluster of noise– crowd voices, clanging scrapes, the rev of a car engine– before building into a groove of low-end synths and glistening bells. While the core arrangement is still carefully constructed and precise, the clamor around it makes the song far looser than anything Weber’s done to date. Subsequent tracks also strike a balance between the natural and electronic. “Abglanz” combines woodblock percussion with a gritty dubstep instrumental, and “The Splendour” (which features !!! and LCD Soundsystem bassist Tyler Pope) sets pinball plonks loose over a muted minimal backdrop.

At 70 minutes, Black Noise is a big, dense listen but also the kind of album that rewards investment. Each track is its own micro sound world with enough rich detail to draw you back for deeper investigation. The album is undoubtedly a success for Weber– if not an outright step forward, then a graceful lateral one– who probably could have gotten away with not making such a comprehensive shift in sound. Instead he chose to deconstruct his signature style, and the result is strikingly unique.

Enjoy It:
Pantha Du Prince-Black Noise

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