Benjamin John Power joins the dots between DJ Screw, Merzbow and Yves Tumor in this eclectic offering.
Benjamin John Power is no stranger to riding the line between joy and despair. As one half of the electro-drone duo Fuck Buttons, he is responsible for monolithic noise anthems that are triumphant enough to make the soundtrack for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, but wouldn’t sound out of place at a post-apocalyptic dance party.
As Blanck Mass, Power pushes the limits of how dramatic his abrasive sound can be, dialling up the fuzz and doubling down on the distortion across a series of releases – including Dumb Flesh, World Eater and last year’s Animated Violence Mild – that explore dance floor-ready variations of Fuck Buttons’ Mogwai-meets-Throbbing Gristle theatrics.
These albums also serve as confrontational responses to the violence and disorder of modern times. “In this post-industrial, post-enlightenment religion of ourselves, we have manifested a serpent of consumerism which now coils back upon us”, explains Power in a recent statement. “I believe that many of us have wilfully allowed our survival instinct to become engulfed by the snake we birthed. Animated — brought to life by humankind. Violent — insurmountable and wild beyond our control. Mild — delicious.”
It is the suggestion that, when faced with certain doom, our natural instinct is not one of self-preservation but of dogged pleasure-seeking that pervades Power’s mix for FACT. Oscillating from jubilation to dread from one moment to the next and veering from post-punk and harsh noise to synth-pop and kosmische, Power pulls together a selection of tracks that’ll have you confused as to whether you should be celebrating or running for cover.
Leyland Kirby – ‘Polaroid’
Klein – ‘Lifetime’
ACT! – ‘Ecstatica/ On Patrol’
Hex – ‘Ruin Value’
Amnesia Scanner – ‘Too Wrong’
Susumu Yokota – ‘Azukiiro No Kaori’
Drew McDowell – ‘Rhizome’
Severed Heads – ‘Legion’
The Reds – ‘Lector’s Cell’
Henric de la Cour – ‘Two Against One’
John Malcolm – ‘ITN News Theme Music’
Boy Harsher – ‘Pain’
Daphne Oram – ‘Pulse Persephone’
Kali Malone – ‘Prelude’
Dedekind Cut – ’46:50′ (feat. Active Child)
DJ Screw – ‘Ready Or Not’
Merzbow – ‘Woodpecker No. 1’
Yves Tumor – ‘Limerence’
Scorpions – ‘I’m Goin’ Mad’
Raymond Scott – ‘Ripples’
Sam Kidel – ‘Disruptive Muzak’
The KLF – ‘Everyone In The World Is Doing Something Without Me’
Dariush – ‘Cheshm-e Man’
Mme. Ravao & Rajoro – ‘Anio No Mba Hisoka’
Puce Mary – ‘We Console Ourselves By Delusion’
Roedelius – ‘Legende’
Listen next: FACT mix 726 – Boy Harsher