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Pantha Du Prince - Im Bann

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There are many theories about the origins of music. One such theory maintains that the first song was a lullaby for children; another, that men began to make music in order to please the women. Hendrik Weber a.k.a. Pantha du Prince does not worry about such genealogies. For music is always already there, even without humans. On his new album, the producer and DJ, 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. Some tracks on Pantha du Prince’s third album—the first to be released on Rough Trade—are based on field recordings and improvisations produced in collaboration with Joachim Schütz (Arnold Dreyblatt Trio) and Stephan Abry (Workshop) in the Swiss Alps. It turned out that the house in which they lived while staying there stood next to a pile of debris formed by a landslide that had buried an entire village. The cover of Black Noise recalls this history of loss. On his quest for the magical acoustic moment, Pantha du Prince burrows through the acoustic debris. He transforms the materiality of the fundamental sounds found or recorded on the Swiss Alp (natural noises and avant-garde folklore) into an expansive and highly speculative acoustic architecture. The music on Black Noise balances precariously on the slippery threshold between art and nature, between techno and folklore. That lends it a certain spectral and intangible aspect. Nature and technology become indistinguishable, all authenticity evaporates.

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