Blanck Mass – In Ferneaux
At first listen, In Ferneaux is an uncharacteristic release from Benjamin Power aka Blanck Mass. Where the producer has mostly dealt in world-crushing electro-industrial drones and grizzled hardware experiments — evident from the offset with the three albums of scorched progressive electronics he crafted as part of Fuck Buttons — Power’s Blanck Mass moniker always seems to have hosted some of his more personal exploratory output. Made in the midst of a pandemic year, In Ferneaux — which Power patches together from a decade-strong pool of globe-trotted field recordings — can’t help but feel sentimental for a far-flung age of movement and flux.
Separated into two phases, In Ferneaux is a psychogeographical road trip dotted with psychedelic vistas and strange pit-stops. We begin with a steady climb from cut-glass synth arpeggios up to a vertiginous hardcore rave break, but Power later pulls the rug from under us with clinking trills that can only be likened to the bustle of a busy cafeteria looped and layered. The journey takes us further, across funereal drones and digitised chaos, across great sonic waves which crest with a recording of a conversation about life and faith reflecting the trauma of the grieving process.
In amidst all the wayward electronic impressionism of In Ferneaux, Blanck Mass wordlessly invokes an overwhelming feeling of elegiac longing for sampling what the wider world has to offer. A stunning new evolution in the Blanck Mass discography.