Some years ago when Daniel Avery was Stopmakingme and not Daniel Avery, well he was still actually Daniel Avery but not on posters, anyway, back then, 2010 to be exact, he wrote a few articles for us. In particular we remember him submitting Pantha du Prince – Black Noise to be included in our end of year ‘Top 30 Albums of 2010‘, we duly obliged and the name has stuck with us ever since.
The Triad is effectively Pantha du Prince‘s aka Hendrik Weber’s first LP since 2010’s sublime ‘Black Noise’, and a bit like a frozen in time Austin Powers things have changed quite a bite whilst Du Prince has been in stasis. Like Austin the world Weber once knew and was intimately familiar with has changed beyond all recognition. Whilst Austin had to reflect on records becoming CDs, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison having all passed, and that man had landed on the moon, Weber is now releasing music in a world where streaming has replaced CDs, David Bowie and Prince have passed and Trump is a US Presidential candidate; not quite landing on the moon, but relatively speaking probably equally as bewildering as Neil Armstrong’s immortal words ‘One small step for man…’ So, like Austin is Pantha du Prince floundering in a world he no longer understands or, like a prehistoric fish out of water, has he adapted to his new surroundings?
Well first things first it would appear both artist and label have neglected to embrace the typically more common PR approach of the modern era, such as exclusive streams of tracks via key online publications, numerous attention grabbing collaborations, well placed interviews, and so on. In fact there has been very little in the way of content, you can’t even stream the full LP prior to its release this Friday (May 20th); apart from the 7 snippets we have gathered below. To a modern audience such an approach may seem outdated and perhaps fool hardy in a world that predominately consumes it’s music in isolation via laptop, tablet or smartphone. Gone are the days where the printed press could give an album 8/10 and you’d buy it on the strength of that review alone. Pantha du Prince, as we illustrated above, originates from such an era, which raises the question are those that resist modern society and its methods simply like parents who describe all modern music as NOISE? In fact, you’ll notice, that the majority of journalist’s, musician’s or record label’s that berate the current system are invariably a legacy of a land time forgot. It is rare to find someone between the ages of 18-25 suggesting that streaming, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify or Smart Phones are eroding the music industry or musical expression, they simple dont think about it. Much like the emergence of the radio DJ in the 1950’s it was a fear of eroding record sales that led to US record labels taking legal action against selected radio stations in an attempt to silence the DJ; well we all know how that turned out! Is the resistance to streaming and social media not just history repeating itself?
Its a divisive subject, divisive clearly being our word of the week if you read yesterdays post on ‘Legowelt being the Kubrick of electronic music‘? However you can’t help but feel that as the generations pass so will the resistance to social media and streaming and therefore, like Austin before us, surely we just need to adapt. Having said that, music has proven, over the years, to be one of the few commodities that has the potential to remain fashionable and relevant regardless of age or format, consider the current revival for vinyl amongst the aforementioned 18-25’s. So what does all this exposition mean for Pantha du Prince and his impending LP?
Simple, embrace change, release music how you want to, BUT don’t be like the 50’s generation that tried to resist the emergence of the Radio DJ, otherwise you may end up looking as daft as they did. Ultimately whatever approach you decide upon will eventually be stripped away as the buying public vote with their clicks and wallets, and judging by the clips we’ve collated below we’re fairly confident, despite the minimal PR, that Pantha du Prince will organically get the necessary votes…
Pantha Du Prince – The Triad [Rough Trade Records] Out May 20th