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Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory
- Elements of Light

This is an astounding release.

Matt MacMaster

Jan 7th 2013 | Label: Art As Catharsis
One of Berlin's brightest talents in minimal house is undoubtedly Pantha Du Prince. His 2010 album, Black Light, was a masterpiece of the genre, and his follow-up, Elements of Light, while not being as dancefloor-friendly, is nothing short of heart stopping. By employing (among other instruments) a three tonne, 50-bell Carillon, shipped from Norway to his hometown, he's constructed an elaborate and elegant work based on the principles of light.

The way the bells resonated with each other and their surroundings when he heard them ring through Oslo's streets struck him, and Elements is his way of exploring that potential, filtered through his own 4/4 techno-based lens. This may seem like his focused German sensibilities have compressed them, potentially out of recognition, but instead it has expanded his own sound, allowing him to combine his penchant for overlapping chord patterns with the natural way bells operate, effectively amplifying the melodies he writes.

While beat sequences and brooding chord structures typical of deep-house are introduced after the second track, the bells still absolutely saturate the album, and it has a beautiful synaesthesia about it – they sound like nothing less than sunlight trapped in metal.

This is a great album to listen to with a nice set of headphones, allowing the gentle insistent purity of the tones to fill your headspace. Bells have been in use for almost 4000 years, and here an artist that can only have operated in the last few has found a wonderful way to bring them into use in a uniquely contemporary way. This is an astounding release.

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