Blanck Mass (Photo by Harrison Reid)
Blanck Mass — the project of musician Benjamin John Power — announces his new album, In Ferneaux, out Feb. 26 on Sacred Bones, and shares “Starstuff,” a single edit from the album. It’s the follow-up to 2019’s Animated Violence Mild, which “channels the horrors of the surveillance state and the creeping dread of everyday life into the most aggressive music of [Power’s] career” (Pitchfork). In turn, In Ferneaux explores pain in motion, building audio-spatial chambers of experience and memory.
Music Park: Blanck Mass @ DC9 — 3/8/16
Blanck Mass performs at the festival Best Kept Secret in The Netherlands on Friday, June 19, 2015. (Photo by Jostijn Ligtvoet)
The opening track, “Loam,” on the latest full-length album from Blanck Mass begins as a confused muffle of sounds that resembles someone speaking underwater. The song then mellows out midway and becomes the sonic equivalent of a soft strobe light, electronic beats skipping gently toward a languid conclusion.
Blanck Mass, born Benjamin John Power, performed “Loam” also as an opener for his show at DC9 on Tuesday night as a stop on his tour to support the album and an ensuing EP, the Great Confuso, both released last year. He drew a dedicated crowd excited to dance to Blanck Mass’ very accessible cut on music that occasionally borders both neo-psychedelia and dark ambient pop.
Loam means soil, and it’s clear that Blanck Mass envisions this to mean “clay” as in material for sculpting a human form. The album, Dumb Flesh, thematically explores how human beings are victims of their biology, responsive to the biological stimuli of all mammals despite our intellectual yearning to strive for something more.
Benjamin John Power of Blanck Mass (Photo by Alex De Mora)
Benjamin John Power of Blanck Mass had a busy year last year! Blanck Mass released a full-length album, Dumb Flesh, in May and followed that up with an EP, The Great Confuso, in November.
Blanck Mass originally eyed a U.S. tour in the midst of that but now rescheduled with a stop at DC9 on Tuesday, March 8.
The Great Confuso is 33 minutes of non-stop electronic music with the title track running in three parts over 18 minutes. “The Great Confuso” (Pt. I, II & III) features guest vocals from industrial legend Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. The other three songs on the EP are remixes from Dumb Flesh, including “Dead Format,” “Detritus,” and “No Lite” by Dalhous, Konx-Om-Pax, and Geneses P-Orridge respectively.
Listen to “The Great Confuso (Pt. I)” by Blanck Mass on Soundcloud:
Resident Advisor hailed Dumb Flesh as “Wagnerian blitzkrieg pop — a flaming meteor, an apocalyptic aftershock, a towering wall of sound.” It sounds to me like something you should hear live!
DC noisepunk trio Br’er open for Blanck Mass. Tickets are available online.
Tuesday, March 8