Pantha du Prince | XI Versions of Black Noise

Rough Trade (2011)
By REYAN ALI  |  May 6, 2011
1.5 1.5 Stars

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Outright blandness is the worst sin in all of art. If you're going to create something so colorless that it blends into the background, barely triggering any sensation, why bother creating at all? Clinging to the middle ground does no one any favors — the world is already full of grocery-store jazz and nondescript wallpaper. So it's an abundance of innocuousness that damns this remix collection of Pantha du Prince's Black Noise, where Animal Collective, Four Tet, the Sight Below, Efdemin, and others tinker with tracks by the German ambient electronica artist. Few dare to make any actual impression. The opener — Moritz von Oswald the One's take on "Welt am Draht" — has airy, cooing vocals, a super-soft, barely-there beat, and pretty much nothing else, looping aimlessly for six-plus sleepy minutes. The pointlessness is grating. XI Versions' final three songs do show signs of life — Animal Collective, Walls, and Pantha himself manage to work up a buzz — but they can't compensate for time killers by Lawrence, Carsten, and Efdemin that make inoffensiveness offensive.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, German, New Music,  More more >
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