Pantha Du Prince


Pantha Du Prince makes sun blitzed electronic music that’s hard to put in a single box. Hendrik Weber, the birth name of Pantha Du Prince, calls his music ‘sonic house’ and the juxtaposition of his feather-like weightless synths with his glitchy 4/4 percussion definitely matches with that description.

Sonic house on a Sunday night, however, doesn’t appeal to the masses in Manchester – there are barely 30 people here and one barman audibly cheers when he gets a customer even though the order, less excitingly, is for one tap water. Weber is not fazed by this though when he comes on stage, with the hood of his coat firmly up, instead inviting us to come closer and fill the gaps that lie between us.

The breach is closed further with the warm ambient sounds that open the set. Looming over a deck of technology that I don’t dare describe, Pantha Du Prince soon contorts this sound until it represents a house groove that’s laced through with a rhythmic keyboard.

The coat doesn’t stay on for long but he does acquire a microphone for ‘Chasing Vapour Trails.’ His deep voice coupled with the vibrating bass makes for a sound that’s more human than the skeletal visuals in the background.

‘You What? Euphoria!’ is the first genuinely rapturous moment of the night. The blinding synth lines cause hips to sway and a smile plays on the lips of Pantha Du Prince for the first time. While live electronic shows are often criticised for being distant this feels notably human, with Pantha Du Prince mouthing every synth line and looking as immersed in the sound as we are.

Picking and choosing tracks from the set feels problematic as the songs work as one, bending and contorting to blend together. It’s a mix that lends itself perfectly to Sunday evenings and one that audience member Mary Anne Hobbs would surely love to stick on her show.

This, however, doesn’t mean that tonight is one-paced as we are rarely allowed to get in to our comfort zones with harsh bass lines often following shimmering synths. Other than the ambient start, the one constant throughout Pantha Du Prince’s set is its dancefloor-like nature. Whether the songs are synth or bass driven, they still give the audience the space to move even if the sounds are slightly less conventional than those you’d hear in your usual nightclub.

At the end of the show he lifts his hands to thank the applauding crowd. It was a blissful hour, like on a cloudy day when you step out of the shade and feel the heat on your neck.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.