Published Sep 22, 2010The Sight Below couldn't have been a better choice to open the Pantha Du Prince show at Vancouver's Biltmore Cabaret. The one-man electronic act from Seattle began drawing in the mellowed crowd by bowing an electric guitar, creating an eerie ambient tone that was eventually looped and layered through his laptop. A backdrop screen of sepia-toned forest shots completed the bleak soundscapes that began the set.
However, it wasn't all moody atmospherics: a 4/4 bass-heavy beat was worked in and complemented by a dense wall of crackles and pops, a combination that recalled the seminal works of electronic legend Gas and the heady dance manoeuvres of the Field. Nearing the end of his 30-minute non-stop set, the Sight Below had built up a throbbing mass that had half the crowd blissfully entranced and the other half moving along to the music.
Though only half the crowd was pushed to dancing by the Sight Below, Pantha Du Prince stepped up quickly and insured that the Biltmore would be one heaving, sweating mass by the time he was through. Shrouded in a large black hoodie and backed by up-close shots of landscape paintings resembling the cover of his new and highly acclaimed third LP Black Noise, Pantha began a slow build of his dense brand of laptop-based electronica, flecked with his trademark toy-box chimes and bells.
Over the course of his lengthy set, he flawlessly weaved in snippets of tracks from his last few records while never missing a beat and continuously upping the intensity of the music with each segue. By the end of the night, Pantha Du Prince had complete control of the crowd, proving his music works just as well on the dance floor as it does on headphones.