The pastoral lakeside- with-mountainview watercolour landscape that adorns the cover of the new Pantha Du Prince album, Black Noise, is about as ill-fitting a cover for an electro-house album as you can get, right? Maybe not.
Opener "Lay In A Shimmer" is a gorgeous, slow-building, chime-filled dream that could easily soundtrack a day lazing by the lake. So take that, says Pantha Du Prince mastermind Henrik Weber!
This is definitely not a pounding, beat-heavy house record for the clubs, but rather one based on texture and feel that would be more at home in a lounge. From the almost liquid-sounding haziness of "Im Bann" to the to the down-tempo trance of "The Splendour," Weber succeeds in creating hypnotic, sometimes lush, six-minute-plus electronic masterpieces. Album standout "Stick To My Side" marries a steady house beat with the vocals of Animal Collective's Noah Lennox, giving the song a decidedly AC-lite remix feel.
There's no air of detachment on any of Black Noise's songs, an extremely difficult feat given the nature of music like this. Indeed, with this album Weber proves he can take house music to new levels without sacrificing the tenets of the genre or blowing up his own blueprint.