Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pantha Du Prince: XI Versions Of Black Noise

At first, the track listing for XI Versions Of Black Noise seems deliberately confounding. Much of the remix album is devoted to reworking only two tracks from the German producer-DJ’s 2010 minimalist techno breakthrough, Black Noise. And the guest list is glaringly light on crossover appeal, featuring German house old-schoolers and obscurities like Carsten Jost, Moritz Von Oswald, and Die Vögel, whose names sound like they were culled from a textbook on the Thirty Years War. But any confusion is quickly cleared up once the music kicks in. Take “Welt Am Draht,” originally a springy track made lush by plucked guitar harmonics, clanking hand percussion, and waves of synths. Moritz turns it into a glacier, all crisp percussion, deep bass, and thick atmosphere. Then Vögel recreates the song with orchestral instrumentation and a bouncy, almost silly groove. Animal Collective goes straight for summer with the track, bathing “Welt” in tape-warped tones, breathy harmonies, and tribal rhythms. Each remix is dramatically different from the last, testifying to the elastic breadth of Pantha’s music. A similar thing happens with “Stick To My Side,” which is flipped into an industrial house bug-out (by Lawrence), itchy maximalist funk (Four Tet), a hypnotic club thump (Efdemin), ambient film music (Jost), and a beachy guitar jam (Walls). XI Versions is electronic tiramisu—slightly unnecessary and a little showy, but wholly dynamic, and a fine finish to a satisfying main course.


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