Welcome to the maximalist, terrifying world of Benjamin John Power. “We throw ourselves out of our own garden” he writes in the cheery press release for the fourth record from the former Fuck Buttons pioneer. “We poison ourselves to the edges of an endless sleep. We betray the better instincts of our nature and the future of the world.” In 2019, maybe we need Blanck Mass more than we think – his sonic nihilistic black hole an accurate representation of the chaos and existential dread that bubbles barely below the surface.
Across four records now, Power’s idiosyncratic electronic music has got bleaker and more complicated – “I guess there’s a certain level of subconscious directing,” Power explained in a recent interview. “Historically, some of the best things come from the hardest places, but it feels like a real shame for all this has to happen. There will always be internal struggles as well as global struggles. I don’t want to surrender.”
Consider that his work was used in the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, and how unlikely it would now be that anything from his most recent record – Animated Violence Mild – could feature in any ceremony of any kind. But that doesn’t stop his work being increasingly poignant. Take the track ‘Death Drop’ – furious and abrasive, but one of the most viscerally powerful things you’re likely to hear this year. There are pained vocal samples on ‘Hush Money’, even trance on ‘House Vs House’. It’s the sound of disintegration, and it couldn’t be more appropriate.