Benjamin John Power’s Blanck Mass is the kind of musical project that is unforgiving in its need to evolve. He pushes the boundaries of what you thought electronic music was supposed to be. Much like Daniel Lopatin’s Oneohtrix Point Never, Power takes the canvas of electronic and experimental music and pushes the boundaries; painting on the floor, walls, ceiling, and whatever surface he can find. In 2015 Power curated a project as Blanck Mass called Blanck Mass Presents The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears. On it, he along with several other electronic and experimental artists reimagined the soundtrack to the 2013 giallo film of the same name. It’s an uncompromising piece of work, and one that opened my eyes to what Power could do on such a large scale.
On his third full-length as Blanck Mass, titled World Eater, Power explodes his sound into a technicolor affair that goes from mind-altering noise expanses to more restrained and cultivated sounds. It goes from eye-opening world music vibes to industrial crush in the course of a song. It might just be the best Blanck Mass yet.
Let’s start with “Please”, which arrives three songs in. Oneohtrix Point Never comes to mind at first, but there’s no aping anyone’s sound going on. The use of vocals and big synth tones brings to mind Lopatin’s big turn on 2015s Garden Of Delete, but Blanck Mass have a sound all their own, and it meshes well with the world music vibes on this stellar track. “Rhesus Negative”, the song that preceds “Please”, is a teeth-rattling noise bomb of industrial proportion. It’s like Wax Trax! meets Creation Records in a beautiful explosion of violence and beauty. “The Rat” sounds like Pretty Hate Machine as a marching band competition piece. There’s something triumphant and regal about this song, which makes you want to crank it and march proudly through the neighborhood. “Minnesota/Eas Fors/Naked” is buzzing noise and plotting tension. It sounds like static coming through some chrome-covered receiver as something slowly rises from underneath all of it. It’s reminiscent of the work he did on the Strange Colour soundtrack at the beginning. Slowly things begin to clear up to reveal twinkling synths and an end that sounds like some aged 80s synth pop track. “Hive Mind” sounds like a huge club track, but done up in Power’s liquid production. It’s a stunning finish to a stunning album.
Blanck Mass live by the “go big or go home” motto. Each time out Benjamin John Power pushes the sonic edges of his music to incorporate something new while bending it to his will. While his work with Fuck Buttons was similar in pushing their sound, Power seems to move a little smoother and with more ease when he’s wearing the Blanck Mass hat. World Eater is his best record yet, opening the sound up and letting in a bit of house, techno, industrial, experimental, and pretty much you name it. Benjamin John Power brings you right into Blanck Mass’ world, and it’s a visceral experience.