Release Date: Jun 21, 2011
Record label: Rock Action
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
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.
The sheer maximal strength of Fuck Buttons' second album Tarot Sport was something to marvel at. It felt as if the duo of Benjamin John Power and Andrew Hung were shifting around vast tectonic plates of noise, daring one another to see how much detail their music could retain while pushing the volume firmly into the red. That love of scale remains firmly intact on Power's debut album under his Blanck Mass moniker, although he's purposefully tempered its overall feel with a more reflective bent.
As 50 percent of Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power produces massive, grinding drones of electronic, indecipherable calamity. As 100 percent of Blanck Mass, Power more or less does more of the same. While it may not be as primal as Street Horrrsing, or as concise as Tarot Sport, Blanck Mass’s self-titled debut packs the same sort of punch, and that punch is one that goes directly to the gut.
On "Sweet Love For Planet Earth," the opening track of Fuck Buttons' 2008 debut album Street Horrrsing, Benjamin John Power was downright terrifying. With an army's worth of monolithic synths backing him, he let out a series of throat ripping screams, sounding like a black metal singer trapped inside of an all-powerful computer. It was, and still is, an album that hits hard in the gut with sheer sonic force.
Blanck Mass, the new side project of Benjamin Power of Fuck Buttons, has a title that seems slightly more considered than that of his house-noise duo with Andrew Hung. As far as I can tell, Blanck Mass is a visual portmanteau of the words “blank” and “black,” combining both senses into one strangely familiar spelling. Significantly for an instrumental album, this word cannot be said out loud without losing at least one of the meanings (the simple addition of the silent consonant “c” to the word “blank” makes it unpronounceable) and verbal language fails (one cannot say two words at once).
When [a]Beady Eye[/a] released [b]‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’[/b], it became the internet joke du jour to comment on how surprising it was that Liam hadn’t come back with a dubstep album. How droll. But just as boorish guitar types die hard, Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin Power, on his first record as Blanck Mass, isn’t really breaking their spacey, rushing mould, instead slowing it down and ironing out the thrills.
Marking the solo debut of Fuck Buttons' Benjamin John Power, Blanck Mass' ambient electronica comes laden with enticing references to Carl Sagan, Ennio Morricone and cerebral hypoxia (the condition of a reduced supply of oxygen reaching the brain). And a blue-green swirl on the cover that seems to shift in front of your eyes, which is, like, really trippy. Given Power's claims for inspiration, the album gets off to an appropriately expansive start, with opener Sifted Gold based around a drawn out, shimmering synth line and abstract chattering that makes for a great soundtrack to contemplate the infinite to.
A perfect after-hours accompaniment for contemplation and restoration. Mike Diver 2011 Given the bewildering bombast and discombobulating cacophony kicked up by the man’s day job calling, the 8-bit-gone-nuclear electro duo F*** Buttons, you’d expect this debut solo venture from the excellently named Benjamin John Power to deliver similarly screaming torrents of circuit-board-sourced sonic violence. But rather than serve up more of the same as Blanck Mass, Power opts for a softer, warmer approach, summoning instead the ambient textures of acts such as Fennesz and Stars of the Lid, and even Moby at times.