Does Pantha pull it off? Very nearly so. After the least rock-star countdown in the history of music, “Wave” kicks off Elements with a bright, charming melody straight out of the Philip Glass playbook, adding a hint of ripple or drone or double-time chime whenever the tune grows monotonous. “Particle” takes 15 minutes to stretch out, moving from Monolake-inspired percussion that rattles like a rusty pinwheel to a rollicking house jam. (Who knew bells could be so funky?) The album’s transitions are immaculate; Pantha’s electronica helps the Bell Laboratory call forth rain, harbors, and a bustling city without ever sounding forced.
However, the smooth, danceable “Photon” runs out of steam halfway through, and while “Spectral Split” cohesively integrates two very different musical ideas, it takes eight minutes to become actually enjoyable. “Quantum”, the final track, is little more than aimless chiming—a lackluster finish to a spirited collaboration. Elements of Light is ultimately two-thirds good, one-third lazy. Listen if you like bells, or Pantha, but don’t be afraid to skip ahead or pull out early.