Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#25 Album Of 2010: Black Noise - Pantha du Prince

Black Noise

Pantha du Prince
Rough Trade Records.

Original SCQ Review

Sheer size acts as the greatest challenge of a Pantha du Prince record, with Hendrik Weber typically dueling against the compact disc’s maximum run-time during the scaffolding of his epic full-lengths. Beyond the commitment of digesting such a prolonged statement, I find his LPs taxing because they rarely own their size, sometimes growing so bloated they disorient the listener’s association of time and space. Though occasionally thrilling, This Bliss was overlong and Black Noise follows a similarly foggy path: starting strong, getting lost, then finishing stronger. Admittedly, my navigation systems fail somewhere between ‘A Nomad’s Retreat’ and ‘Satellite Snyper’, although I only regain my bearings because ‘Behind the Stars’ was so flagrantly recorded as a one-off before the majority of the LP.

So Black Noise loses its anchor midway through, but it’s a charming limbo to dwell in between two devastating bookends; opening couplet ‘Lay In a Shimmer’ and ‘Abglanz’ show a flurry of electronic ideas in motion while closing tracks ‘Welt Am Draht’ and ‘Es Schneit’ push into more heartfelt terrain with the odd hint of shoegaze afoot. Only a handful of artists were capable of updating the tenets of IDM into the current electronic landscape this year, and no one accomplished this better than Pantha du Prince.

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