Pantha du Prince
(2010, Rough Trade)
RIYL = The Field, Pole, Burial
I’ve been excited for this one for a little while, but have delayed writing about it because I realized that I don’t have a whole lot to say. Black Noise, Pantha du Prince’s full length follow up to his best-of-the-decade This Bliss, is…incredible. I mean, it is certainly a worthy follow up to This Bliss. Even so, not a whole lot has changed. The album is easily identifiable as a Pantha du Prince album with its water droplet metronome-percussion, the crystal chiming clatter and his patent ear for infusing melody that seeps slowly from the minimalist electronics that Pantha pushes. But that doesn’t make it irrelevant or less of an album. Far from it. Black Noise is pitch perfect and, I think that I dare say, the best album I’ve heard so far this year (though Salivary Stones is really incredible as well (and we're only in February)). Pantha du Prince simply has the touch. I think the easiest thing to compare it to is Boards of Canada when they followed up Music Has The Right To Children with Geogaddi or when Stars of the Lid followed up The Tired Sounds… with And Their Refinement of the Decline. In both situations there was a complaint that the latter sounded much like the former, but in the end no one was really displeased. The one bright spot of a clearly recognizable shift is on “Stick to My Side,” where Panda Bear guests with some wonderful Person Pitch-esque vocals that really work great on top of Pantha du Prince’s production (and excite me about the forth coming album from Mr. Bear). I do find it slightly humorous that Panda Bear keeps repeating the lyrics, “Why stick to the things that I’ve already tried.” While the repeated lyrics may be a standard that Panda Bear himself has embraced in his solo work and work with Animal Collective, the same doesn’t quite ring true with Pantha du Prince. Regardless, the album is immaculate. Absolutely wondrous really. I am actually surprised that it hasn’t seen more reviews so far (I’ve only noticed one, though I’m sure there are more). I mean it was just officially released yesterday so I’m sure they are coming. I will just leave it to the rest of the collective web of musical criticism to praise the album for me. Just wait, I promise, Black Noise is going to be a hit.
This actually comes as a remix b-side for Animal Collective's "Peacebone" single, but it is a worthy precursor to Panda's appearance on Black Noise: