Animated Violence Mild
Edinburgh-based producer Benjamin John Power has always made music of imposing scale, with each record sounding bigger than the last. Where his duo Fuck Buttons forged an unholy union of noise and synth-pop, Power’s solo work as Blanck Mass conjures a future populated by sentient machines with outsized dreams. Animated Violence Mild pushes the needle forward another notch. A high-voltage current surges through the album, variously surfacing in the form of heavy-metal blast beats, hardstyle shuffle, and even something almost like trap. Power’s latent industrial tendencies come to the fore in the shape of pummeling distortion and blown-out vocals. But before it all comes to a climax with the stunningly intense “Wings of Hate”—a gleaming obelisk of polished rave synths and metal drumming—Power pulls the rug out with “Creature/West Fuqua,” where church organs and drone guitar give way to plucked harp and an echo of R&B a cappella. It’s a soft-spoken fake-out that makes his heaviest punches land even harder.