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Blanck Mass
Blanck Mass Blanck Mass
Released 17 June 2011
Producer Benjamin John Power
Label Rock Action Records
Length 62:23
Genre Ambient noise, rock
Website myspace.com/blanckmass

As one half of the critically lauded post-rock electronic duo, Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power harnesses influences ranging from Ennio Morricone to Carl Sagan in self producing his solo debut under the guise of Blanck Mass.

Although very much an experimental affair with an equal mix of tracks short and long, elements of Fuck Buttons previous releases are evident with post rock crescendos, white noise and a solid electronic core. However what separates Blanck Mass from the above is the removal of the immediacy and the primal with a more focused, less intense listen and one that arguably demands greater concentration. So, for every 'Surf Solar' and 'Sweet Love For Planet Earth' comes tracks like 'Sundowner', a repetitive slow burner that makes for an uneasy trade. Although a break from the album’s typical grittiness, its swirling beeps and sparkles quickly ebb in memory as the track fails to evolve within its significant timeframe.

What proves to be an inconsistent listen is, intermittently strewn with some beautiful tracks with 'Chernobyl', 'Icke's Struggle' and closing track 'Weakling Flier' adding a depth of sadness to the album with lush looped sounds, some stinging synth noise and warped indecipherable background atmospherics. Although not ambient in the (Eno) traditional sense, the album is without beat and consists of flowing melodics hidden well behind vast sound barricades which works a treat predominantly on the shorter three to four minute tracks.

Unfortunately the same may not be said for much of the album. 'Raw Deal' and 'Land Disasters' make for good examples of the negative aspect of Power’s side project. Although both tracks are distinct from one another sound-wise, both (in addition to others) comprise of identical long winded structures of massive distortion injections from the get go which accelerate towards monotony as the build up ceases to exist and forms the entire piece. No chaotic, blissfully exhausting finishes, but an impatient wait for the inevitable.

Within the hit and miss deluge nevertheless comes 'What You Know', a thirteen minute epic that defies the albums previous slow burners to become a fantastic piece of noise that takes shape over time and breaks free of its strained incarnation.

Sadly the above only stands alone and becomes lost on a tired listener when Blanck Mass is taken as an entire entity. A truly disappointing release.

- Conor Hynds