Review/Listen: Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory – Elements of Light

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Pantha Du Prince, a German-based beat producer, has been releasing music for over a decade now so his interest in adding a group of bell musicians and naming them The Bell Laboratory speaks to his desire to think outside the box more than anything. Their original collaboration started in 2011, meaning Elements of Light has been a project for some time and the result is sonically delicate and robust.

Throughout the forty-five minute album, Elements of Light feels like an explorative, singular piece. The unusual inclusion of bells gives Pantha Du Prince a chance to toy around with house and ambient tracks that would have otherwise felt bland but are rejuvenated by the bells. Pantha Du Prince capably utilizes the bells, which is no surprise since his solo material revolves heavily around extensive beats that are sometimes difficult to digest.

Overall, this record is for music-lovers that are interested in sound. The bells offer a different texture to Pantha Du Prince’s ambient and house tracks, which typically build around unusual recordings anyway. However, this record is chock full of bells, bells, and more bells, and after sprawling tracks like “Spectral Split,” they start to take their toll.

Elements of Light is worth a listen, especially for fans of experimental minimalism. The bells are obviously the focus of the record but Pantha Du Prince builds unwavering and simple beats around them. The bells have a surprisingly diverse tonality based on what Pantha Du Prince pairs with them. They sometimes come off as bright and cheery, menacing, or even reminiscent of steel drums. Ultimately, Elements of Light is Pantha Du Prince’s way of conceptualizing his own obsession with an unconventional idea and he does it well.

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