Elements of Light by PANTHA DU PRINCE and THE BELL LABORATORY [REVIEW]

I wager that nowhere, does any producer in a studio shout “chuck a bell on it!” when working on the next club-banger. Probably, if that was a thing, we’d call them club-ringers.

Hendrik Weber – aka Pantha du Prince – it’d be fair to say, is not the kinda chap to ever want to make a ‘club-banger’ though, so his inspiration for this mini-album / EP (44 minutes of wonderful ambient soundscape spread over 5 tracks) was not born of a desire to make the kids go ‘bonkers-wamp-wamp’ but rather, from visiting Oslo in summer 2010 where he heard one of the daily bell carillon concerts in the city hall. A bell carillon is a three-tonne instrument comprised of 50 bronze bells – they rarely, if ever, appear in production studios – so he teamed up with a Norwegian four-piece percussion group called The Bell Laboratory to integrate tubular bells, xylophone, chimes and yes, a MFing bell carillon into his dreamy minimalist melodies. The results are fantastic.

To call this an EP or mini-album is probably a dis-service, to be honest, it’s more like a solid work of music; the tracks stanzas of the over-all composition. Again, probably not made with ‘bonkers-wamp-wamp’ in mind – but the rhythms are, never-the-less, driving and propulsive as the music takes it’s you along on it’s journey. Wave and Quantum acting as prelude and epilogue and Photon as a bridge – all three clocking in around four minutes each around the two main movements, the progressive Particle and the celebratory, tribal-sounding and, at times acid-tinged Spectral Split, which is just an absolutely fantastic piece of work.

Elements of Light is the sort of record that’s perfect to take the edge off just about anything.

RATING : REALLY GREAT

 

I have always struggled with a numerical scale; it feels so finite and arbitrary.
So the CHEESE ON TOAST scale looks a little something like this :
FREAKIN’ AWESOME / JUST AWESOME / REALLY GREAT / GREAT / GOOD / PRETTY COOL / NOT BAD / COULD BE BETTER / PRETTY BAD, ACTUALLY / NOT RECOMMENDED FOR EARS

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