Similar to the previously reviewed work of Four Tet, Pantha Du Prince is a techno producer who isn’t looking to fill dancefloors. With this, his third album, Hendrick Weber creates minimal and highly atmospheric sound more synoptic to the serenity of a snowy scene than the urban environments often associated with this music genre.
Three years in the making and assembled delicately including the use of field recordings from Swiss countryside, Black Noise is an intricate work of passion, with a high success yield. Rather than pursue an ongoing melody throughout a track, these songs evolve to great effect. Each song feels like it’s a blind journey, oblivious to what turn will be made next or furthermore, where it shall end.
Opener ‘Lay In A Shimmer’ eases us into this unawareness, culminating in deep synths under chiming bells. A feature of this album is to steer from the ‘electronic’ sound, and instead create a natural atmosphere, no doubt inspired by the time he spent in the Alps while creating the album. The tracks feel cold and edgy, to his credit he has painted the scenery that has inspired him very well. Many were excited by the prospect of his collaboration with Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) on ‘Stick To My Side’. Being the only track with vocals here, however, proves to distract from the nature of the album. Lennox’s traditionally warm and summery vocals contrast the minimal sounds well, however, and leave me wondering whether more vocals on the record would go amiss, or whether this track should’ve been left from the album.
Either way, the album is a huge success for Weber, who’s unique sound has gained lots of attention. In the same way The xx and Burial have in their respective fields, he has successfully taken a genre to its fundaments and delicately built each track to create a wonderful collection.