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Blanck Mass

In Ferneaux (Sacred Bones )

By • Feb 27th, 2021 • Category: Album review

A new release from Benjamin John Power (aka Blanck Mass), formerly one half of Fuck Buttons) – one of the most original and innovative artists working in Scotland, and beyond, in these weird times…

He has recently soundtracked a couple of films – ‘Calm With Horses’ and ‘Ted K’, but this is the new album proper.

It is a two track release, each coming in at around 20 minutes.

Track one – ‘Phase I’ – is very electronic, although the first few minutes actually recall the ‘Tubular Bells’ theme (notoriously used on the soundtrack for ‘The Exorcist’). Otherworldly voices and deep bass sounds kick in shortly afterwards, and other soundtracks come to mind, for example Tangerine Dream’s ‘The Keep’…

It isn’t too much longer before BM goes all-out and there is an enormous wigout, the likes of which he is famed for… We are not even a third of the way through, so an interlude of what sounds like sounds of boats or a marina (maybe!) then washes into some industrial sounds (who knows what but you might want to keep your hands away from it…)

Something is stirring, but it takes quite a while – there are “found sounds” from somewhere outside, and big filters of noise, which eventually fade out into the unknown… via what sounds like a large industrial metal press.

Track two – yes, ‘Phase II’ – continues along similar lines with an abrasive collage of noise and dialogue – an excerpt from two American guys talking about success, maybe… The dialogue then warps into some serious electronic noise, and we are once again in a swelling miasma of feedback – it takes a while but eventually there is a massive drum-driven apocalypse, or is it a party, you decide… the rest of the track merges into more synth-led noise, along with near-human vocals.. the track bows out with a lovely piano theme, hopefully rendering the previous quite disturbing 40 minutes into memory…a happy ending!

Ironically for one who provided (in his sleep!) at least one or two of the current Mogwai track titles, he could have come up with some more innovative names for the tracks…

But overall the album continues Blanck Mass’ quest for new sonic landscapes and pushes the music further into oblivion – wherever that may be in 2021!

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