As one-half of noisy drone outfit Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power makes music of mammoth scale that is martial in its zeal to assault the senses. Fuck Buttons are all about the sheer thrill of displaying their own ability to pile up instruments and arrangements at 140km/h; Blanck Mass is all about the twirling sensation of moving but not going anywhere. Ladies and gentleman, we are floating in space alright… and it's really, really beautiful.
Blanck Mass makes the most sense in a car at night, or any place that you can immerse yourself in its atmospheres in cocoon-like surroundings. Opener "Sifted Gold" has an amniotic quality, with its aquatic tones quietly washing over, until it abruptly bursts into "Sundowner," itself an intriguing exercise in frustration as Fuck Buttons' exhilarating pounding is kept at bay while Power privileges textures over structure: the song keeps you expecting something that never comes. This tension is what makes Blanck Mass so singular.
The rest of Blanck Mass is built around the same kind of motifs. "Chernobyl" is so shamelessly emotive that it wouldn't sound out of place during Blade Runner's replicant-on-replicant love scene, while others could serve to soundtrack the preliminaries ("Sub Serious") or the climax ("Land Disasters"). Then there is "What You Know," the album's 13-minute tempestuous acme. It's a gorgeous piece of neo-classical electronica that channels Henryk Górecki's spirit via The Sight Below's artistry.
If you take M83's most elegiac moments circa Dead Cites, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts and remove anything remotely rhythmic (drums, basslines, guitar riffs, even vocals) from them, what you're left with is an amorphous, er, mass of suspended Olympian synthesizers. Expand and intertwine those until they end up constituting some sort of aural shapes with abstract yet poignant edges, and you'll get an idea of what makes Blanck Mass so special. There's nothing blank, or bland for that matter, about it.
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Tracklist: Blanck Mass - Blanck Mass 01. Sifted Gold
04. Raw Deal
05. Sub Serious
06. Land Disasters
07. Icke's Struggle
09. What You Know
10. Weakling Flier