German techno producer Hendrik Weber recorded under numerous monikers over the years, including Glühen 4 and Panthel, yet Pantha du Prince became his most well-known and celebrated. Weber aligned with Dial -- a Hamburg-based experimental techno label helmed by Carsten Jost, Turner, and Lawrence -- to release his Pantha du Prince material, which is characterized by its downcast and dark tone, as well as by its minimal and experimental tendencies. Over a span of output that began in the early 2000s, Pantha du Prince evolved from the minimal, bell-adorned techno of 2007's This Bliss to the rich arrangements and expanded line up of 2016 album The Triad.
He made his debut as Pantha du Prince with a four-track 12" release, Nowhere (2002), followed a couple years later by a full-length CD/double LP, Diamond Daze (2004). The album garnered considerable acclaim, with some critics gleefully pointing out Weber's affinity for late-'80s British shoegaze bands such as Slowdive, Moose, Ride, and My Bloody Valentine. His affinity for Detroit techno (à la Carl Craig) and minimal techno (Chain Reaction) was evident as well.
Following a remix 12" (Butterfly Girl Versions, 2005) and a one-off 12" of new material (Lichten/Walden, 2006), Weber released his second Pantha du Prince full-length, This Bliss (2007), which again garnered considerable acclaim. For instance, Spex and Groove -- both German techno magazines -- crowned This Bliss with their Record of the Month awards, while indie tastemaker Pitchfork gave the album a favorable review stateside. Weber switched to Rough Trade for Black Noise (2010), featuring guest appearances from Tyler Pope (!!!) and Noah Lennox (Animal Collective). The likes of Four Tet, Hieroglyphic Being, and Animal Collective provided remixes for XI Versions of Black Noise, released the following year. In 2013, he released his fourth album, Elements of Light -- a collaboration with Norway's Bell Laboratory. Three years later, he returned with the new single "The Winter Hymn." The track was the lead cut to his fifth album, The Triad, which was released by Rough Trade in May of 2016. The Triad was the first Pantha du Prince album to feature an extended lineup of Scott Mou (aka Queens) and the Bell Laboratory's Bendik Kjeldsberg. In 2020, Weber returned on his own with sixth album Conference of Trees, a lush collection of layered electro-acoustic ambience that combined organic instruments and mellow electronics.
© Jason Birchmeier /TiVo