Published May 18, 2016Following the collaborative, bell-centric Elements of Light with the Bell Laboratory in 2013, The Triad finds Pantha Du Prince's Hendrik Weber returning to the finely tuned, elegant and precise minimal techno he made the Pantha name on, with a slight alteration: a newfound fondness for singing.
Over half of the tracks on The Triad feature vocals, either from Weber himself or Scott Mou, a.k.a. Mr. Queens, who sings on both "The Winter Hymn" and "In an Open Space," lending additional humanity and warmth to an album already defined by a feeling of looseness, the type of groove that can only come from a collective playing music together in a room. Indeed, Weber has claimed that "three beings generated this album," and that's palpable here — particularly early on, in the playful expanse of "You What? Euphoria!"
The changes since 2010's Black Noise have, otherwise, been subtle; the inclusion of the Bell Laboratory's Bendik Kjeldsberg in the album's writing process — the final member of the titular "triad" — means there are favourable traces left over from the bells of Elements of Light, especially on highlights like "Frau im Mond, Sterne laufen" and opener "The Winter Hymn." It's "Dream Yourself Awake," though, that provides the album's peak, demonstrating that Weber's still got the uncanny ability to redirect a song and crack its potential wide open halfway through.
It's not all successful — "Chasing Vapour Trails" is pleasant, even if its ten-minute runtime never quite pays off, and the baritone cheese of the vocals on "Islands in the Sky" drags down its fascinating composition — but overall, The Triad is a satisfying reminder that Pantha Du Prince is still the best at what he does. (Rough Trade)