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Pantha Du Prince: Black Noise & The Splendour (Rough Trade UK)

Hendrik Weber is back with his lush minimal techno project Pantha Du Prince. Along with Lawrence, he’s quietly emerged from the obscure ranks of the gorgeous German imprint Dial into major label ranks by signing with Rough Trade. Like Lawrence, Weber has a knack for crafting functional minimal techno tracks awash with melancholy and tenderness. His palette here is fairly consistent, lots of melodic, twinkly mallets and chimes that skitter over top clean, concise, delicate dancefloor drum tracks. It’s always functional yet seems to aim somewhere higher than the dancefloor, targeting the brain and the heart more than the feet. He’s gone out on a limb here and even incorporated some vocals, most notably on “Stick to My Side” which includes Noah Lennox a.k.a. Panda Bear from Animal Collective; it’s not my tea, though – I think that Pantha Du Prince excels more when the music does the talking. Aside from the occasional misstep, it’s a highly textural, sophisticated outing that fits well into Weber’s repertoire.

The first single from Black Noise is “The Splendour” which is quite lovely in itself. But it’s the B1 track, “Water Falls,” that steals the show. It struts along with a delicate urgency that is rousing enough to move a floor, but sad and sweet nonetheless. Closer “Sach Mal Baum” is also a solid track, making the EP a worthy supplement to the full-length album.

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