Since forging his own lone path away from Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power has consistently delivered chunky slabs of grotesque electronica and shadowy experimentalism. Third LP, ‘World Eater’ speaks as a playful foretelling of the coming apocalypse, where trademark stormy synths meet glitchy samples in a chaotic collision. Like the evil twin of Clarence Clarity that joined a particularly nasty cult.
Opening with the misty fearfulness of a horror film, the repetitive and entrancing ‘John Doe’s Carnival of Error’ interrupts itself with a stuttering sample that sounds like it’s in reverse before subsiding into the gargantuan ‘Rhesus Negative’ . A punishing behemoth of a song, it’s all crushing gears and tearing blades, vaguely glancing to a delicate euphoria, before descending to a surprising, screamed vocal. Pulsing, mutating and tensing, it’s perhaps the best example of the power Blanck Mass can wield, the closest bridge to last album ‘Dumb Flesh’. Again it mixes a dissected vocal sample with grinding synths and beats to cement ‘World Eater’’s appeal as dance music for killer robots. The twisting and morphing experimentation isn’t limited only to that palette though, ‘Please’ is almost poppy with its mysterious accessibility and ‘The Rat’ makes for a twinkling bright spot against some of Blanck Mass’s impenetrably deep shadows. Entering with bombastic choral aplomb, ‘Silent Treatment’ builds invigoratingly into a whirlwind of beeps and scratches, with a knife-edge tension that seems as though one false move could see the whole thing come caving in. Power proves far too capable a constructor though and the track finds a mechanic but soulful groove as it ascends into its off-kilter bliss. In just one outing of seven tracks, it has somehow casts itself as a rival to Burial, Jamie xx and Gesaffelstein at different points, still remaining cohesive as it slips between its multiple personalities.
‘World Eater’ finds itself skipping around kicking up the ashes of the terrain it just razed, equal parts intimidating and scatterbrained. It’s an engaging listen and a jarring template that perfectly captures a disquietened and uneasy era. The real question asked by “World Eater” though is are we listening to a rueful soundtrack of what’s gone before, or a chilling premonition of what’s to come?