Blanck Mass - Blanck Mass - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Blanck Mass - Blanck Mass

by Steve Reynolds Rating:6 Release Date:2011-06-20

Blanck Mass is the side project of Ben Power who is one half of electronic noise duo Fuck Buttons. This is his debut solo album and is a marked change in direction from the belligerent unsettling drone and cacophony of his day job.

Focussing on using softer less discordant keystrokes, Blanck Mass is post-comedown and is the calm after the storm of Fuck Buttons. Opener 'Sifted Gold' has a sample of a gentle tide washing up on the shore and sets its stall out early with what is to follow. It's a slow burner as the trademark fried electro sound of FB is tautly held back on a much tighter rein in favour of a slower and subtler release of electronica.

Power certainly focuses on the gentler more layered electro building on 'Sundowner' as its soothing calm of bleeps, dots and quirk engulf your ears leaving a warm and mellifluous after-effect. 'Chernobyl' is in similar vein to 'Sundowner' but much more melancholy, in fact in parts it's rather sleepy and dreary. However, a sense of parity is restored with the eerie buzz of 'Raw Deal' on which the notes chime and glide much more effervescently. It's hypnotic and consists of a nagging loop but is rather delicious all the same.

'Sub Serious' is a haunting affair but once again lacks in content and is bereft of the diversity which should be taking it to the next level. 'Land Disasters' is the nearest you'll get to a Fuck Buttons track and the opening bars of noise and uplifting keys could quite easily be taken from the cutting room floor of their excellent debut Street Horrrsing. The finale of the track restores a sense of calm and curtails perfectly. The 13 minute epic that is 'What You Know' is the most hybrid song on the album. The monolithic tones and sounds rise beautifully and would be more than fitting for a priest's 70th birthday wigout!

Blanck Mass has its moments and is an after-hours headphone listen but the insouciant approach should be held in check at times unless Power wants to drop off the edgy radar and into an abyss of middle ground background music destined for a 'Cafe Del Mar' compilation CD.

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