Pantha du Prince and The Bell Laboratory
Elements Of Light


3.0
good

Review

by Martin L. USER (44 Reviews)
January 30th, 2013 | 20 replies | 1,591 views


Release Date: 01/14/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: detail reigns supreme again

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The release is a collaboration between producer Hendrik Weber (a.k.a. Pantha Du Prince) and various percussionists, including a member of Jaga Jazzist, based out of Oslo, but its cohesive nature leads me to imagine while listening that it’s a product of a single band that’s known each other for decades. Weber’s technique was at its peak on 2010’s Black Noise, in which he adeptly weaves minimal beats into mind-numbing, relaxing anthems. Even though the album was generally well-received (it earned “Best New Music from Pitchfork), accusations of “dull” and “boring” were thrown his way; on the other hand, I thought his minimalist techno was charming in its simple form. It’s striking the way Prince is able to create such engrossing rhythm and melody with so few ingredients. In his experiment with The Bell Laboratory, Weber is the conductor of a much more diverse array of constituents, and he directs them with ease into a well-flowing, slow-burning five tracks that engross more than they underwhelm. Still, I can’t help but wonder what could have been if Pantha du Prince and The Bell Laboratory had somehow incorporated the “light” thematic more. The album’s namesake and track titles all revolve around light, but admittedly I didn’t get this sentiment from Elements of Light on a substantial level.

The songs are best appreciated as a culmination of sounds rather than by their distinct facets; similarly, Elements of Light is much better enjoyed as a whole, but it can be broken down into tracks. Taken apart from the others, “Particle Split” is an impressive display of techno that adds layer upon layer, displaying Pantha du Prince’s true calling -- attention to detail. Aside from that standout, the other highlight comes in the closer. “Quantum,” mostly only bells, is a decaying track that leaves the listener with four minutes of nothingness at the end, emphasizing the state of meditation-like numbness one is left with. Even with its lack of ingredients, Elements of Light isn’t necessarily an album that leaves us wanting more, per se. It’s a complete album that, while by no means a crowning achievement, shows off how well Panthu du Prince’s style and skill can be translated to similar modes of conveyance. That being said, wouldn’t it be nice to be awarded another, pure Pantha du Prince release later in 2013?



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
carouse
January 30th 2013



300 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I wish users could utilize the new "tenths" rating system. I feel like this is a textbook example of somewhere between the 3-3.5 ratings, but oh well.

SeaAnemone
January 30th 2013



19913 Comments


Gott hear this

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

mindleviticus
January 30th 2013



8199 Comments


checking out photon now and I really like it

carouse
January 30th 2013



300 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Don't let that 3 steer you away, silentpotato. It's definitely a good release, maybe great. I just didn't find it "substantial" enough to give it a much higher rating, if you know what I mean. I'll definitely listen to it more and it has room to grow. I would have loved if they stuck stronger to the light theme more. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoyed this, though it's one of those releases I want to enjoy a little more than I actually do. It starts to lose my attention after a while.

I'm really not in favour of a rating change.

foxxxythnksustnk
January 30th 2013



2132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea this was a nice listen

foxxxythnksustnk
January 30th 2013



2132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

id say neat if i were pressed to do so i suppose

hope u like it

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pretty neat

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



23800 Comments


which member of Jaga Jazzist is in this? I got three of them to sign my One-Armed Bandit record (What We Must doesn't exist on vinyl I don't think), including the drummer, who fucking rules.

I'll check this out regardless of the lukewarm reception it seems to be getting.

carouse
January 31st 2013



300 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's the drummer from Jaga Jazzist. I believe there's a third member here too (another Oslo musician), but I could be mistaken, there might be more too.

And yes, definitely check this out. It's worth it and not a very big commitment.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



23800 Comments


will do will do

that guy is so cool. I was right up front and there were 9 of them on this tiny stage. He absolutely kicked the shit out of his kit, and he was wearing this shirt that was just:

KNIPS!
KNIPS!
KNIPS!

what a guy

anyway thanks for bringing my attention to this, cause Pantha du Prince also rules, will check

foxxxythnksustnk
January 31st 2013



2132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

do u like one armed bandit

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



6382 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

you know what album i think is over rated?

What We Must

123

Anyways, this is a really great album, but it's just too bad that it pales in comparison with his other work. Loving the concept though.

Digging: Vessel - Punish, Honey

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



23800 Comments


lol it's in like my all-time top 5

¯_(ツ)_/¯

foxxxythnksustnk
January 31st 2013



2132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea i love bells nd things

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
January 31st 2013



2714 Comments


I found this kinda dull to be honest, probably middling around 2/2.5

foxxxythnksustnk
January 31st 2013



2132 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

must not like bells

carouse
January 31st 2013



300 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That's the only explanation.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2013



2714 Comments


Probably, seeing I'm very much anticipating a new solo release from him.

carouse
February 5th 2013



300 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Same here.



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