Blanck Mass - DUMB FLESH - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Blanck Mass - DUMB FLESH

by Steve Reynolds Rating:8 Release Date:2015-05-11

Benjamin John Power is a restless man. Not content with just wheeling out sonic drones, harsh electronica and no wave soundscapes with Andrew Hung in Fuck Buttons, he has now graced us with his second Blanck Mass album, Dumb Flesh, the follow-up to his 2011 acclaimed self-titled debut.

Blanck Mass puts a different aspect on electronic music. Yes, the tracks are underpinned by bits of the Fuck Buttons sound, but the flip here is that they are less belligerent, less angry, and more melodic.

For starters, we get the backward, slowed-down walk of ‘Loam’, with a non-descript, incoherent sliver of a vocal which halfway through is suddenly punctuated by a smash 'n' grab stuttering wall of noise and fire. A rude awakening, and far removed from the beautiful lines and sinewy diversions on ‘Dead Format’. Packed with rumble, passion and a rumbustious searching vocal, it builds continually for over six minutes, delivering a fried, skitty sheen of fuzz for its finale.

‘No Lite’ is much more sedate in appearance, with a plethora of omnipotent deconstructed beats that interchange and complement each other but twist and turn continually to create new sounds. At its pinnacle it soars, dips, and soars again to create a ripsnorter of an ending. ‘Atrophies’ is of similar ilk, it just comes with an element of quirkiness, beats bouncing from wall to wall and a looping synth controlling the power and the pace of the track.

Blanck Mass, like Fuck Buttons, is meant to be played out loud. ‘Cruel Sport’ is hedonistic, the nearest to a FB track on this album. It’s a pummelling piece of work, an uncontrollable force lacking in niceties and armed with a terse, rough element that seeps into the bloodstream without you even noticing.

It’s not all foot-to-the-floor stuff. Take the mellifluous, post-coital sounds of ‘Lung’, a masterclass in relaxation and calm which demonstrates Power’s ability to mix it up both confidently and reassuringly. 

However, it’s the final track, ‘Detritus’, that beings us back to what Power does best. It's an epic of clanging noise, metronomic, clean lines, and heightened electronica that continues to rise and rise.  A fitting end to an album that is beautifully arranged and armed with so many pluses that it should be a hit, and not just with the beard-stroking hip-brigade.

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