Space Music: In the Flesh with Blanck Mass


Blanck Mass. Sacred Bones Records

John Carpenter's album "Lost Themes" dropped a couple of months ago and it delivered a smattering of fine synth tracks from the horror master as expected. But it also featured a handful of incredible remixes from such Sacred Bones Records artists as Zola Jesus and ohGr.

My favorite remix on that album came from Blanck Mass, a solo project by founding F*** Buttons member Benjamin John Power. His take on Carpenter's "Fallen" was a driving, electro-industrial pursuit that brought to mind not only the source material, but also turn-of-the-millennium Nine Inch Nails. When I checked out Blanck Mass' debut album, however, the tone was more ambient and ethereal -- great stuff to be sure, but a rather different vibe.

So I sort of wrote "Fallen" off as a fortunate one-off, at least until Sacred Bones shared a full-album preview of the new Blanck Mass album "Dumb Flesh." I'm happy to say this latest LP delivers on all the promise in that Carpenter remix. The tracks are pounding, gothy and industrial but with an undercurrent of that electro-ambience that Power utilized so well in his earlier release.

Plus, there's a science angle on the album:

"As a work of art, Dumb Flesh is a comment on the flaws of the human form in its current evolutionary state. The frailty of the human body naturally became a resonant and inescapable part of the album's gestation. "We are at the mercy of our genetic heritage everyday. No matter how intelligent we are compared to other life forms, we're still made up of the same building blocks and things can go very wrong". In particular, the first single 'Dead Format' reflects upon this reality, whilst 'Atrophies' and 'Detritus' acknowledge the organic decay we will all inevitably succumb to."

Give it a listen right here, and consider pre-ordering it via Bandcamp or Amazon.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.