Album Review: Pantha du Prince and the Bell Laboratory

pantha-du-prince

Pantha du Prince and the Bell Laboratory -’Elements of Light.’ (Rough Trade)

There’s no doubt that on paper (or on whatever electroc format you choose), the latest project from Berlin’s Hendrik Weber must seem a little unusual to say the least. Indeed, when the press release states ‘The ambitious project is a symphony for electronics, percussion and bell carillon, a three-tonne instrument comprising 50 bronze bells’ your eyebrows are raised.

But you are not forgiven for running away. Because over the course of the album (a single continuous work, but broken down into five tracks, named, um, for elements of light), what you get is an album that is actually really beautiful and, dare I say it, blissful.

So to hell with your prejudices about ‘bloody bell ringers’ and utter paranoia about anything that isn’t two guitars, bass and drums, in the words of one guitar band ‘turn off your mind, relax and float downstream’…

***1/2

Elements of Light is released on Rough Trade on January 14.

Stream the album over at The Guardian’s website

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