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Posted Dec 27th, 2012 (11:00 am) by Corey Ames
Blanck Mass
Blanck Mass
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Blanck Mass, aka Benjamin John Power, is fascinated by the natural world. One of Blanck Mass’ few official press photos shows Power overtaken by trees, and in the press release for his debut album, 2011’s Blanck Mass, Power is described as “a young musician in thrall to Carl Sagan, Ennio Morricone and the infinity of nature, both universal and personal.”

Power even cited Cerebral Hypoxia as an influence on the album, stating in an interview with Clash

“Around the time of writing these songs and in particular the track 'Sundowner' I was speaking to a close friend about the supposed feeling of euphoria one feels before death from drowning. I certainly don't mean for this to be this to be viewed in a morbid way, but more the idea of finding a beauty within the unknown.”

This is a perfect encapsulation of Blanck Mass . As gorgeous and as new as it is familiar, the album swirls around you, taking the force of Power’s main band Fuck Buttons and trading in the huge beats and sheets of aggressive noise for more subtle, yet no less powerful, ambient soundscapes. (The aforementioned ‘Sundowner’ even got honored with a London Symphony Orchestra accompanied performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.)

Much like the transition Fuck Buttons went through with their first album Street Horrsing and their second album Tarot Sport , Power seems unwilling to allow Blanck Mass to stagnate with one sound. He released the White Math/ Polymorph 12” earlier this year, whose both sides not only contain beats, but also 80s style keyboard sounds, making the tracks sound more like a long lost John Carpenter score than anything found on Blanck Mass .

Just yesterday Blanck Mass released a free download of his new single “Hellion Earth” on Soundcloud (but it’ll only be free ‘til January 1, so act fast!) and it is his most beat driven track yet. Gone are both the 80s synths and the nature worshiping slow ambiance, and in their place is a danceable track that is firmly in the now . At 10+ minutes the track has time to morph and change, adding and subtracting beats and synth lines. "Hellion Earth" continues the tradition of Fuck Buttons tracks like The Lisbon Maru, keeping a very upbeat and exciting vibe and never becoming monotonous for its entire run time.

Blanck Mass is currently at work on his second album, and begins a European tour with Sigur Rós in February (find those dates here.) We look forward to whatever direction Power will go in, as it almost certainly going to be mind-blowing in some way, we just might not know which.

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