If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’ve come across a handful os post featuring Blanck Mass, the solo side project of Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin John Power. His 2015 Blanck Mass effort Dumb Flesh was written and recorded over the course of the preceding year in several different locations — Power’s Space Mountain Studios, a windowless attic space in Hatch End, North London and Power’s Edinburgh Scotland home. And reportedly, frequently changing recording spaces influenced the album’s dark and sprawling compositions, which possessed elements of tense and abrasive industrial electronica with sensual, hard-hitting, deep house, complete with punishing, tweeter and rocker beats and shimmering synths seemingly bubbling from a hot, molten iron-like surface. Thematically speaking, the material focused on the inherent frailty of the human body — with the material evoking the painful sensation that our poor, dumb flesh couldn’t do more to protect us from certain catastrophe; however, World Eater, Power’s third Blanck Mass album, released earlier this year through Sacred Bones Records was inspired by the our current, ongoing sociopolitical climate full of teeming anger, violence, confusion, frustration, hatred and despair — and as Power has publicly mentioned, the material is meant to evoke a wild, untamed beast chewing and gnawing at civilization, compassion, good, progression and the very bonds that hold us together. As Power explains in press notes, “The title is a reference to both the inner beast inside human beings that when grouped en-masse stops us from moving forward towards good.”
Now, as you may recall, album single “Silent Treatment,” built on the concept of human civilization being mercilessly ripped apart and stomped on, and of impending doom as the song featured chopped up choral and vocal samples, abrasive, industrial clang and clatter, stuttering drum programming, twinkling arpeggio synths and enormous, room rocking boom bap-like beats — and although the song managed to possess a subtly atmospheric feel, it retained the murky and punishing feel of the material on Dumb Flesh. The album’s latest single “The Rat” continues on a similar vein as it features punishing, tweeter and woofer rocking beats cascading down on the listener paired with layers of swirling, shimmering and buzzing synths — and while being one of the more ominous songs I’ve come across this year, there’s a strangely haunting beauty at its core.
Edited by Dan Tombs, the recently released visuals forces the viewer to stare directly into his eyes and take a surreal and nightmarish trip through some of the darker and more foreboding recesses of a fairground, stopping through dancing doll towns, merry-go-rounds and warped flashbacks of maggots and decay. As Power says of the video, “The video itself is a bit of fun and filmed on a family vacation, but somehow I feel it represents discontent within a capitalist regime and a world full of sugar-coated shit.”