WORLD EATER by Blanck Mass
Favorite Tracks:“John Doe’s Carnival of Error,” “Please,” “Silent Treatment”
Albums that take you outside of the human mind and transport you to a primal mentality are uncommon, but Blanck Mass present exactly this transformative experience on WORLD EATER. Blanck Mass is the side project of Fuck Buttons member Benjamin John Power. The music is carnal but playful, often sounding like Burial, Avey Tare, and Skrillex decided to make an album together in a fun house. The music is constantly loud and primal, but is also naive and innocent, making WORLD EATER the most interesting experimental release of the year so far. On this album, Blanck Mass sounds like the pineal gland of DANSE MANATEE-era Animal Collective’s hive mind if DANSE MANATEE-era Animal Collective were updated for the trap age.
WORLD EATER’s first track, “John Doe’s Carnival of Error,” perfectly sets the tone of the album. It is light and melodic with an undercurrent of unease. Looking at the menacing maw while listening to “John Doe’s” chirpy bell synths is the perfect commencement for the terrifying but joyous ride that follows.
WORLD EATER’s finest moment comes on the track “Please.” The track perfectly incorporates trap drums into Blanck Mass’s predatory levity to create a track that evokes the feeling of being an alpha member of the food chain. Featuring a vocal sample that is reminiscent of Burial or Shlohmo circa VACATION EP, instead of turning the sugary sample into murky darkness like either of the aforementioned producers would, Blanck Mass creates a track that elevates the sample’s poppiness to create something both unlistenable and incredibly rewarding.
Reward is one of the most appealing aspects of WORLD EATER. At no point in its 48 minute run time does the album ever hand the listener a traditionally appealing moment, but once the listener is able to journey into the mind of the album there is an undeniable triumph and understanding.
This reward is best demonstrated by “Minnesota / Eas Fors / Naked,” which consists of over six minutes of overwhelming white noise followed by about 45 seconds of what sounds like a lost track from Washed Out’s LIFE OF LEISURE EP. The bizarre nature of a dark ambient track and a post-chillwave loop existing in the same outing feels perfect in the context of the album.
Though every aspect of the album is highly interesting, WORLD EATER’s most fascinating element is its sonic palette. In all its viscerality the album features mostly childlike tonalities. There are bell synths, warm synth basses, and playfully screwed vocal samples where harsh ambient noises would exist on a more stereotypical experimental album. Despite fitting in with other artists in the drone music scene, the album sounds more post-carousel than post-rock. It’s refreshing to hear a challenging release that eschews the sub-Reddit meme-ery that can make Blanck Mass’s peers seem somewhat preposterous in their weirdness.
Blanck Mass does no service for the listener and that is the beauty. Like most experimental music, the album displays a commendable level of autonomy. To the average listener, WORLD EATER is unlistenable, but for those who can embrace the animosity of the album and connect with its beastliness, listening to the album is an experience like no other. There is something so oddly inhuman about the album that it sounds at times like it wasn’t made by a human at all. While WORLD EATER is tricky, it can also serve as an out of body experience like no other at its best moments, and is well worth the time of anybody who’s willing to open their minds to another dimension of music listening.