From his debut album Diamond Daze on through the minimal techno classic This Bliss and the genre-jumping Black Noise, Hendrik Weber has always astonished with his productions made as Pantha du Prince. And his latest is his most ambitious to date. After hearing a bell carillon ring throughout the city of Oslo in 2010, Weber composed Elements of Light in collaboration with the Bell Laboratory, a five-membered Norwegian percussion ensemble. Centered around a three-ton, 50-bell carillon, Elements first premiered in 2011 at Oslo's Oya Festival, with Weber and the ensemble performing the piece live to an enraptured crowd. Subsequent photographs and iPhone videos on the Internet showing the musicians cloaked in dark hooded robes and surrounded on stage by all sorts of bells, gongs and chimes only added to the mystery of this collaboration for those of us who weren't able to catch any of the European shows. For this studio recording of Elements, a bell carillon was shipped from Denmark to Germany, and the album reveals a monstrous modern classical piece of music, one closer to Steve Reich's epochal '70s work than the minimal techno scene. The first seven minutes of the record are beatless, just polyrhythmic layers of ringing bells and chimes eventually joined by Weber's evocative 4/4 kick, and throughout Elements, his always-restrained atmospheric production is sculpted with an even lighter touch than on past Pantha du Prince releases. It all makes for an amazing accomplishment from one of our favorite producers of recent years. (LP will available on January 29th, 2013.)

-Adrian Burkholder (January 17, 2013)