"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Monday, 7 December 2009

Unheard & unheard of

Predictably lovely, Pantha du Prince's new The Splendour may be - in both its loveliness & its predictability - one of the less vital parts of next year's Black Noise (on Rough Trade). Certainly, while Splendour is replete with PdP's distinctive subtleties (especially poise - an often exquisite balance between movement & langour or melancholy & drive that's mirrored in all those rippling, poetic chimes, pads & bells over their clipped pulse), it is the other Black Noises exposed so far that really excite.

The tiny sliver of Wald available (hear it below) stands out as a straining, bowed call to arms. While I'm no doubt one of those dumb animals that barely perceives 'black noise', I sense in the title track's high frequency tone a welcome ambition to do more than refine the formula.

Meanwhile, the epic Behind the Stars is notable for its vigour & even roughness - a degree of imperfection showing a refreshing & unfamiliar taste for, er, rough trade...

Rough Trade blurb: "Pantha Du Prince, who lives in Berlin and Paris, who lives in Berlin and Paris, claims: music slumbers in all matter; any sound, even silence, is already music. The mission, then, must be to render audible what is unheard and unheard of: black noise, a frequency that is inaudible to man. Black noise often presages natural disasters, earthquakes or floods; only some animals perceive this “calm before the storm.” Black noise is something archaic and earthy. The music on Black Noise balances precariously on the slippery threshold between art and nature, between techno and folklore, which lends it a certain spectral and intangible aspect."

Pantha du Prince > The Splendour (from Black Noise, forthcoming [February 2010] on Rough Trade)

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