“Is that what you call leaving feedback?” were my companion’s final pun-tastic words on the evening, as we walked out of Summerhall and into what I felt was civilisation. UK-based electronic artist and one half of Fuck Buttons. Blanck Mass is Benjamin John Power, and along with support from Anxiety, created precisely that as we were subjected to a multi-layered wall of noise for a few hours, as my claustrophobic tendencies rose.
Anxiety were first on the bill and it did not take very long to realise where the name came from, as it was a heady array of hardcore punk, noise rock and all sorts of other genres which I find personally a formidable listen. Heavy lighting and sporadic movement into the crowd was all causing apprehension and I was somewhat relieved when it was time for the headliners.
Heavy, iridescent and orchestral work defined by edited field recordings, analogue synth, and cavernous drone was the back bone for Blanck Mass. Needle-dropping an alarmingly bleak montage of visuals, Power’s music often feels impenetrable, migraine-inducing and intrusive, as it not only takes over our ears but vibrates up the backbone of your spine and spills into your arteries.
However, let me be objective here, as this is simply not for my buds. He does however dispel an energy throughout the night, which is notable diffusive, and lightens the brutality, the harshness, and occasionally melody enters the music, often unexpected. Visceral, intense, certainly and not too unlike being at a Chris Cunningham gig (of that I recall requiring a whisky at the bitter end) this is an unusual gig in that I have no idea of track names, lengths, which leads me to question our need to know. Power performs and then leaves with no niceties, housekeeping, banter or crowd-pleasing chat. It’s all go and then go home.
For more on Blanck Mass and forthcoming gigs click here.