The download price on this album "Elements of Light" is what management consultants call VFM and for the outlay of under three 'squid" you get the newest installment of the throughts of Chairman Hendrik Weber aka Panthu Du Prince. On his last outing 2010's "Black Noise" Weber recorded the best album of ambient electronia of the past five years (yes even better than Four Tet). It was a brilliant mix of Detroit meets Dresden and songs like "Splendour" and "Lay in shimmer" sounded like falling snow underpinned by crystalline electronic music for the new century full of shimmering, bell-like tones strung out and stretched against a backdrop of gentle micro-beats. As mentioned the sound of bells figured on "Black Noise" but on this new album Weber almost turns them into an assualt weapon. On paper the idea of fusing techno with campanology does cry out for the employment of the sectioning provisions of Mental Health Act 1983 or at minimum resurrect the dubious ghost of Mike Oldfield. Yet Weber is a enterprising soul and for this album shipped a 3 ton carillon with 64 bronze bells into his Berlin studio along with a gaggle of Norwegian percussionist. "Elements of light" is therefore a song cycle or concept album which is genuinely beutiful and surprisngly listenable. The hypnotic opener "Wave" starts with gentle shimmering bells blowing delicately in a a slight techno breeze and mutuates into the longer "Particle' where Weber and co really open up with some sparkling electronic backdrops. Third track in "Photon" sees Weber nail the mix of momentum and energy, echoing those earlier "Black noise" tracks.
The big centrepiece here is the near 18 minute "Spectral Split" which recalls the music of Phillip Glass. It starts with the build up of micro sounds and the gental percussive flow of bells until a throbbing beat nudges in at around three minutes. The approach to building layer upen layer of sound is a Weber speciality and by the time we get to half way the track almost takes on a marimba feel although the icy German cool is never far away. It is scintillating stuff which would drive dance floors into a hazy frenzy on a hot Ibiza night as the sun sinks into the ocean. The five song cycle is round off by "Quantum" which puts the fireworks back in the box and again returns to pure glowing ambience. Weber's music is continuing to evolve and here he builds on the ideas within Black Noise and takes them to their logical conclusion. As an artist associated with techno it is his least dance orientated album but certainly his most beautiful to date.
on 31 January 2013
This should not be classed as an album. EP is a lot more suitable!!!
Bought the vinyl which also contains the cd - nice touch.
Tracks 1&5 are soft ambientish and are ok, track 3 is the best track and the one made available before release!! Track 2 is ambient with a beat coming in later on, track 4 has a beat too!
This is not a full blown pantha du prince album, it annoys me that rough trade and pantha himself classes this as an album - it is not!
This is not a patch on this bliss and the newer album which i have but cannot recall the name at this time!
Overall not bad but definitely a part time collab album - maybe somewhat rushed!