Hendrik Weber's new symphonic work as Pantha Du Prince, in collaboration with the Bell Laboratory, Elements of Light, is one part classic Pantha techno and one part classical composition. Meant to be listened to as a single continuous work, the five-piece orchestration prominently features a carillon (an instrument heavier than any other in current existence, consisting of bronze bells of varying sizes), whose presence dominates the sonic palette of the album for its duration. The album opens with delicately placed melodies of high-end carillon ambience ("Wave"), which slowly build into Weber's mixture of organic bell sounds and synthetic electronics, constructing the pulsating rhythms of "Particle" and "Photon." While Weber's impressive carillon sampling procedures used in the recording and melody writing process give the album great contextual and harmonic depth, Elements of Light slowly stagnates after extensive and repetitive use of the uniform timbral palette created by the sounds of the bells. Weber's creative theoretical and instrumental approach is unique, but the abrasive and connotative tonal qualities of the carillon often overshadow the colourful subtleties of the finer details of his delicate arrangements. The less bell-cluttered sounds of the album's opening and closing cuts resonate the most beautifully.
Read our exclusive Pantha Du Prince interview here. (Rough Trade)