Black Noise - Pantha du Prince
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. I think it’s safe to say that Weber is putting his strengths into fine use and, with Black Noise, it’s utterly fantastic.
  2. 95
    The third full-length from Hendrick Weber maintains the high quality of previous efforts while pushing certain elements of his shoegaze-y, minimal-inspired techno sound further.
  3. Black Noise manages to navigate the tightrope of expectation and creative vision with aplomb. It’s rich and meaty, the kind of album you can really get to know over a long period of time.
  4. This is a special album, make no doubt about it, casting its spell as it makes both a moving memorial and an example of raw talent. If techno with a soul is what you're after, then look no further than this.
  5. At 70 minutes, Black Noise is a big, dense listen but also the kind of album that rewards investment.
  6. 2009 has seen the emergence and critical success of other techno-pop bands, including The xx and Fever Ray, and Pantha du Prince plays into exactly this sort of intelligent, thoughtful, and in many ways uplifting music.
  7. 80
    The use of reverberant instruments such as marima, bells and steel drums--as well as, on "Stick To My Side," the ethreal vocals of Noah 'Panda Beear" Lennox--give a real depth to his ambitious productions, and yet despite the elemental yearning, they retain a clubby toughness. Breth-taking stuff. [Mar 2010, p.90]
  8. Black Noise can't help but feel ever so slightly like a letdown after the consistently mesmerizing rapture of its predecessor. But make no mistake: Weber is still making some of the most enchanting electronica out there, and if this album brings him the increased exposure for which he seems well-poised, there are few producers more deserving.
  9. Mostly, though, these elegant ­orchestrations of techno beats and ­sinuous, looped ­melodies ­suggest an aural equivalent to time-lapse ­photography – and seem equally ­revealing of our world.
  10. It’s minimal techno made by someone in love with nature; dance music that should be narrated by David Attenborough — it's also what gives the album its beautiful spark of originality.
  11. However precious his choice of sounds might be, Black Noise nonetheless impresses for its forward-thinking and even robust approach to contemporary dance music.
  12. Black Noise is something worth delving into. It is something intensely personal and emotionally gray, but it’s also grounded, accessible enough to welcome you inside.
  13. By melting away the distinctions between one sound and the next, Weber pronounces that he’s far more interested in affect than effect. Here he also notes that he shares perhaps more in common with the shoegazers than the beat architects. Yet, this mush of sound, sweet as it may sometimes be, may be the album’s only major impediment, as it can at times dull the impact of certain songs or passages.
  14. It is not at all clear where you are heading when you board, and it becomes less and less important as the journey progresses, beauty on all sides, comfortably lost in the violet noise (more appropriate than black) suffusing everything at hand.
  15. With Black Noise the trance is too sporadic to even really exist, which does make it a much more appropriate record for a casual listen--but sometimes a listener just wants to get utterly lost.
  16. After this striking highlight ["Stick to My Side"] Black Noise glides into a slight lull that persists through the Underworld-like fidget of "Satellite Snyper" and the disappointingly anonymous electro house of "Behind the Stars," which shows that when Weber promotes rhythm ahead of melody the effect can be underwhelming. It’s with the album’s final trio that things return to the high standard of the first half.
  17. 70
    On his third full-length, Weber keeps the beats crisp but more varied, conjuring steamy pipes (on "The Splendour," featuring !!!'s Tyler Pope), wind chimes (the twinkling "Bohemian Forest"), and a bullet train ("Welt Am Draht").
  18. Thankfully, the rest of Black Noise manages to maintain an elegant balance of the concrete and the ephemeral.
  19. Black Noise is slightly busier than Pantha du Prince’s sublime “This Bliss” (Dial) from 2007, a pensive, slender and tough album that remains his high-water mark.
  20. Where ["The Bliss"] bubbled and spat like hot fat, its meticulous construction overflowing with polyrhythms, Black Noise seems disjointed and overlong even though it runs for roughly the same duration.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 21, 2011
    9
    Loved this album. Takes a while to really appreciate it but i find myself coming back to listen to it again and again. Has real depth. Its theLoved this album. Takes a while to really appreciate it but i find myself coming back to listen to it again and again. Has real depth. Its the only album that i have rated every track as very good. Full Review »