Categories
Gig review

Blanck Mass

Rescheduling and rearranging gigs has been a bit of a thing recently in Glasgow, with first of all the terminal fire at ABC1 (so who gets the insurance money for that?) and then the dispute at the Art School venue and bar. The main benefactors of this appear to have been southside barn the 02 Academy (surely some half empty houses some nights there) and West End upstart SWG3.

It may not surprise anyone that BM tolerates SWG3, but that’s about it. Quite a dehumanising venue but it does well for tonight. After a drag double act (BM used to work with them in the 80s) the audience got what they came for – a brain-melting onslaught of noise and beats from the best in the business, Benjamin John Power.

And BM can say what she likes about SWG3 but upstairs it has an excellent sound system – this was loud, even by BM standards… The audience by now had swelled to a couple of hundred and from the off they were dancing, people going mental…

In the hour-long or so set we got cuts from BM’s most recent album ‘Animated Violence Mild’ including ‘Death Drop’, a track which further refines the black hole of beats, drops and synth waves that BM has pretty much perfected over the last few albums. The wall of sound is scary but when you penetrate it there are subtle shards of Gabba, prog-rock, techno and heavy metal, all mixed together in a true cacophony, an evil souffle, if you will…

The segues between the tracks are almost as good as the tracks themselves, as one track crashes against another, and BM takes another sip of beer before launching his next attack. There are older tracks too, including the now classic ‘Dead Format’.

It was probably ‘Please’ which provoked the biggest crowd reaction, its simple keyboard refrain and vocal sample soon turning into an apocalyptic meltdown of scattergun percussion and bass drones… (it is the bass drones which really do it btw which is why is needs a decent sound system…

Recent album track ‘House Vs House’ appeared late in the set and was pulverising, hard to see how he could get back this monstrous contortion of samples and beats, which surpasses anything that any of them have done for sheer massive beats – The Chems, Prodigy, Fatboy, Underworld, no one has made it this dark and this mental… no one…

And last up, ‘Odd Scene’ really is like Slayer vs Utah Saints, or something… Truly scary and pretty much impossible to dance to due to the massively high BPM.

After all this carnage it was nice to have a chat with Ben in the freezing air outside- even dark lords of techno have to unwind after all…