Reviews

Blanck Mass
Mind Killer

(Weirding Way)

8/10

Initially conceived as a one-off, live-streamed event to keep Benjamin Power busy at the beginning of lockdown last April, this forty-minute improvisational piece by Blanck Mass has now arrived as a limited vinyl release, giving us the opportunity to either revisit it or hear it for the first time. Power has already released a new record since, with In Ferneaux having arrived at the end of February, and Mind Killer at once feels like both a companion piece to it and a different beast entirely. Presented on wax, Mind Killer is split into two, resembling the two twenty-minute sides of In Ferneaux, but musically, it is a world away from that work, on which power sifted through a decade’s worth of field recordings in order piece together a breakneck electronic odyssey that often felt maximalist.

Mind Killer, on the other hand, is a more homogeneous affair, even if he again dips into his reserves of field recordings to complement his Korg. One half of Fuck Buttons, Power is no stranger to the idea of flirting with dance rhythms inn his experimental work, but the consistency of the beats here and the fluttering, melodic synth lines make this maybe as close to that territory as he’s come under the Blanck Mass name. It’s an undulating electronic epic that takes a skyward turn towards the end of Side B, with towering walls of synth making for a dramatic, industrial electro finale; if there’s anything surprising about Mind Killer, it’s that Power put it together off-the-cuff, because there’s a masterful control over the pace of the piece, the way in which the huge soundscapes almost creep up on you in how glacially they unfurl.

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