Pantha Du Prince’s “Black Noise”

Pantha Du Prince's album, "Black Noise," fuses folk and techno.

When I came across Pantha Du Prince’s new album, Black Noise, I almost immediately jumped to the assumption that it was “just another techno album.” I mean, sure, I dabble in techno occasionally, but it’s not exactly what you would call my bag. That’s when Pantha Du Prince slapped me across the face and declared, “DON’T TRY TO CLASSIFY ME!” Black Noise, in reality, is more like a glorious fusion of folk and techno.

Since I was new to Pantha Du Prince’s music, I did a little research and discovered the dark conception of Black Noise. The album was inspired by the tragedy of a small village in the Swiss Alps that was destroyed by a landslide, which Hendrik Weber (a.k.a. Pantha du Prince) saw the remains of first hand. The message of this album is that “beauty is possible even after the disaster.”

The album kicks off with “Lay in a Shimmer,” a pleasant tune that utilizes chimes. These same chimes are a staple instrument throughout the album, which gave it an ambient quality.  The next few songs, “Abglanz,” “The Splendour” and “Stick to my Side”(the latter with lyrics sung by Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox), all work together to slowly build up to the more powerful section of the album.

The next songs, “A Nomad’s Retreat,” “Satellite Snyper” and “Behind the Stars,” are hands down my favorite part of the album. These tracks stack beats upon beats, and just as you think you will lose interest, Weber drops the beats together like a master Tetris player.

The last four songs of the album (“Bohemian Forest,” “Welt am Draht,” “Im Bann” and “Es Schneit”) express a sort of beautiful serenity that I would never have expected from an electronic album. The listener is left with the feeling that, I imagine, would be similar to what one feels after witnessing a grand natural disaster, but not the typical feelings of fear or sadness. They’re more like feelings of awe and respect for the grandeur you’ve just encountered.  Needless to say, Pantha du Prince can add one more to his fanbase after today. The fact is that labels cannot tack down this genre-bending album. It must be confronted and interpreted personally.

Below are some samples from the album, and if you become smitten, no worries, the album will be released Feb. 9.

“A Nomad’s Retreat”a nomads retreat

“Satellite Snyper”satellite snyper

Pantha du Prince