Burgess, Hollywood 03/27/2013
64-piece, baton-driven ensemble, live percussion, and programmed electronics = tight!
The pairing of German producer Pantha du Prince with Norwegian percussionist group The Bell Laboratory may only initially seem odd. In fact Pantha du Prince’s music often relies on percussive noise within its textured beatwork, on songs like “Lay in a Shimmer” from his breakthrough, Black Noise. By working with a live group, Pantha du Prince’s music reverses the scale from sounding more electronic than organic, but it doesn’t fundamentally change the way his music comes across. This is meditative sound, a sort of serenity that comes from accepting mixed tonality, drone and beats that come in and out of the mix at will over the album’s five tracks. This isn’t to say there aren’t distinctive pieces to the whole; “Photon,” at less than five minutes at the center of the album, is the catchiest bit, for lack of a better term. But it’s best to experience Elements of Light in one sitting, as a single entity that ebbs and flows with a sort of naturalistic dream logic. Open your mind and you’ll become entranced by the way Elements of Light wraps ancient sounds in billowing electronics.