It’s worth the wait.
For the first time in six years, Hendrik Weber, otherwise known as Pantha Du Prince, will be releasing a new solo album. If it’s anything like 2010’s Black Noise, it’s bound to be worth the wait. The Triad, out on May 20, has 10 tracks, all of which take a listener on a whimsical, musical journey. “The Winter Hymn,” the first song on the record, has already been released and is even accompanied by a music video that Weber directed himself.
The Triad begins softly, with a melody that’s a bit reminiscent of wind chimes. “The Winter Hymn” is not only beautiful but is also named appropriately. The song is gentle like a hymn, and it gives the listener a sort of meditative, religious experience- if one’s willing to submit to it. Though there’s a rather structured beat and despite its world-music vibes, one distinctly feels as if they’ve connected with something fragile and pure while listening.
Though Weber did intend to break through the more digitized world of music he’s comfortable in, the album takes a decidedly electronic turn in the second track, “You what? Euphoria!” His use of the electronics makes for an almost traditional composition. His melodies are extremely pleasing, and remind a listener of sunshine, grass and latte art.
The third and fourth tracks off The Triad, “Frau im Mond, Sterne Laufen” and “In an Open Space [ft. Queens]” are very well-placed and really give us a sense of who Weber is musically. One’s reminded of early Aphex Twin, Matthew Dear’s Audion (if it took a Valium) and Royksopp. However, it is clear that Weber is entirely his own man; he continues to be very melody-driven, while many of his contemporaries are beat-driven. He doesn’t seem to be as enamored with strange, electronic mishaps and syncopation; Pantha Du Prince seems happy with his simple arpeggios and undulating melodies. His music is really very refreshing.
The middle of the album begins to get a little more atmospheric. It’s here that he really starts to create a soundscape for the listener to get lost in. It seems to extend out forever and evokes images of abandoned urban landscapes and reclaimed ruins. Around tracks 6 and 7, Pantha Du Prince becomes a little more concerned with percussion, but he still relies heavily on musical themes and recurring riffs.
Of course, Weber wraps up the album carefully and deliberately. “Islands in the Sky” (track 9) and “Wallflower for Pale Saints” (track 10), Pantha Du Prince manages to do something that many musicians cannot: capture precisely what it is that makes his album so special. His musicality and blending of traditionally-influenced compositions with digital themes keeps a listener’s attention and makes for many delicious, well-executed surprises.
The Triad is not only a triumph because it’s a great piece of art, but it’s also impressive because it allows us to connect with something other than the music. Listeners will find themselves craving the company of others, wanting to make new friends and enjoying the spontaneous beauty of Earth after listening. This album is not only worth a listen- it was worth the wait.