Blanck Mass - 'In Ferneaux'

7/10

Since breaking away from his formative group Fuck Buttons to explore a more adventurous side to the electronic sound, producer Benjamin John Power aka Blanck Mass has found himself as the golden child of modern electronica. His ability to create bold and vivid soundscapes that borrows from a multitude of different aesthetics has given him a reputation for grand and impressive compositions over the years. But now it feels like he has reached his experimental zenith as he shares his latest LP 'In Ferneaux', a sprawling and progressive pursuit into the unknown.

Made up of just two 20+ minute tracks named 'Phase I' and 'Phase II', 'In Ferneaux' instantly identifies itself as one of his more outlandish offerings to date. Yet while the track lengths may give the impression that we are in for a gruelling slog through his own self-obsessed world of harsh electronics, the result is something far more narrative driven than we were expecting. There are numerous times throughout this release in which near silence falls on the recording, giving us these dark and ethereal breaks that open us up to tense and unsettling moments that display a rare atmospheric and ambient side to his direction.

It may be more of a concept record than his usual output, but 'In Ferneaux' shows us some of Blanck Mass' most inventive material to date. Not weighed down with the idea of creating a fresh batch of ideas, he feels free to let his mind wander on this new collection, creating this shimmering and, at times, intoxicating listen throughout.

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