Elements of LightAlbum |
German producer hears bells...lots of bells
German producer Hendrik Weber's previous records as Pantha du Prince have slowly transformed from fairly typical minimal house into a kind of ambient shoegaze, sampling vintage indie tracks like The Chills' gloriously gloomy "Pink Frost" and featuring cameos by members of Animal Collective and LCD Soundsystem. But while his fourth-full-length is of a piece with its predecessors, the conceptual and sonic purity of Elements of Light makes it unique in his canon. Recorded with the assistance of a Norwegian percussion collective excellently called The Bell Laboratory, these five tracks feature an old-fashioned church-style carillon (fifty bells of sizes ranging from wee to freakin' enormous hung in a loft and played via a pipe-organ-like keyboard) as the primary sound source. Treated with delay, reverb and Pantha du Prince's other usual tricks, the bells are transformed into an ecstatic shimmer of sound. Though the dancefloor-friendly "Photon" adds a house beat, most of the rest of the album focuses almost exclusively on the glorious pealing of the carillon, subtly retextured by minimal hand percussion and electronics. The results are both a fascinating study in overtones and harmonics and a glorious way to get blissfully lost in sound for three-quarters of an hour.