CD Review – Pantha Du Prince

Pantha Du Prince – Black Noise

Rough Trade

Minimal electronica isn’t the first thing to come to mind when talking about Rough Trade records, but if that’s the direction the label wants to take, it’s taken a hell of a first step in signing Pantha du Prince. Black Noise, the third album from the German DJ and producer, is a stunner.

The album features guest vocals from Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox and bass from Tyler Pope of LCD Soundsystem and !!!, but don’t expect an attempt at an indie-rock crossover hit. There’s nothing “rock” about Black Noise, though it does bring elements of house, trance and even shoegaze into its minimalist fold. The beats are skittish and the melodies largely comprised of synth washes and metallic chimes, as if du Prince is trying to assemble his songs from the most fragile sonic elements he can compile. But he anchors those elements to crisp bass and a persistent backbeat that crosses over to “dancefloor-friendly” on more than one occasion. Who knew the line between background ambiance, headphone fodder and party soundtrack was so fine?

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