Blanck Mass | Animated Violence Mild | Sacred Bones Records
Release Date: 16th August, 2019
Image Credit: Alex De Mora
The world we as human beings have sculpted finds itself in a constant state of flux; the uncertainty of destruction, breaking down the shaky foundations which we have created simmers in an anxious collective. The aura of an unstable societal structure heaving cumbersome weight amongst the shoulders of the public; responsible for our suffering, responsible for relieving ourselves of suffering – burdens and daunting tasks that hold us in a sturdy grip of numbing consumerism, feeling trapped in our own unsustainable chaos; while simultaneously latching onto it with our lives, the illusion of control acting as a dangerous drug.
British producer Benjamin John Power, founder of drone band Fuck Buttons and known under his solo moniker Blanck Mass; dives headfirst into the brutal, tumultuous nature of our reality in his fourth solo album, ‘Animated Violence Mild‘. An album screaming beautifully crafted horror, Power explores the astute, inner narrative that shapes our outward perception, and the outward reality that shapes our inner world. A reflection of the losses we’ve faced as a collective, and the mourning of personal and external loss of control; the violent acts in which we participate everyday become all we are able to latch on to, along with the dialectical truth of beauty amongst them.
Introduced with the brutality of a distorted scream ‘House vs. House’ shifts unexpectedly into stop/start spliced samples, reminiscent of dance floor ready cuts; yet carrying a brooding darkness with it’s steady industrial tone and driving tempo. Brick by brick walls of sound layer in concise and confident experimentation, textural electronics sculpt an all-encompassing atmosphere – overwhelming, yet progressing with synthesizers surprisingly hopeful in their distinct voices. Power’s vocals weave within the aura, filtered with fuzz yet melodic; catchy in it’s elements of candy-coated pop and glittering timbres, a confident drive in the climactic drama reminiscent of post-rock, with the distinct tone of the synths contrasting the harsh industrial with a blinding brightness.
‘No Dice’ blooms with an anthemic introduction, confident claps vibrant in an energetic enthusiasm; complimented by an industrial fuzz, a dark dance honed by Power’s ability to sculpt walls of sound into narratives; shining with the spark of optimism amidst existential reflection, the exuberance of animated textures sculpting an overwhelming light – shimmering with a sound that screams ‘all is not lost’. Crafting a uniqueness through the embrace of experimentation and genre mash-ups, ‘No Dice’ showcases Power’s distinct voice, unafraid and self-assured, the track constructed with a tactical skill that progresses foundation, layer, glimmering aura and experimental atmosphere into a steady, unique and insightful narrative through his eccentric musical expression.
‘Animated Violence Mild‘ is carved in both blood-red horror and a stunning tenderness, channeling the existential anxiety of our internal experiences and the overwhelm of modern capitalist society and earthly destruction into a work that still gleams with an unexpected hopefulness; a sound so concise that amidst the violence lies a yearning vibrancy.
Review by Jenna Dreisenstock