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  • Filed under: Review
  • 06/20/2011

Blanck Mass Blanck Mass

Benjamin John Power, whose primary outlet is psych-house duo Fuck Buttons, has struck out on his own as Blanck Mass, a moniker the artist seems to take deeply to heart on his first-ever solo release, a 10-track, self-titled LP. This hour-long offering of drifty, practically formless synth music is indeed quite massive, and sometimes lacking in any distinctive qualities.

That's not to say Power's album is unlikable or subpar in any way, shape, or form. In fact, it's often the lush, faceless soundscapes—tracks like "Chernobyl" and "Sub Serious"—that prove to be the most rewarding, as the subtleties of each composition allow for deeper immersion by the listener; your mind is given the opportunity to fill in the blanks, so to speak. And yes, fans of Fuck Buttons will find plenty to love on Blanck Mass. Though all of the record's songs are completely beatless, "Sundowner," "Raw Deal," and "Land Disasters" all recall the immense, distorted melodies of some of our favorites from Tarot Sport and Street Horrrsing.

Blanck Mass' scope is patently panoramic, its instrumentation is dense with layers of spacey tones and gritty noise, and each of its productions hum with a deep luminescence often lost in much of today's crop of instrumental synth music auteurs. But while Power exhibits his range in mood and melody on this self-titled debut, one can't help but wonder how much the album could have benefited from even the smallest touch of the rhythms that give his other outfit its vibrant energy.

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