Interview: Blanck Mass

The Brief

 
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Blanck Mass is the moniker of electronic musician Benjamin John Power, who is also half of experimental duo Fuck Buttons, along with Andrew Hung. Compositions by both projects were featured in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, and have been widely acclaimed, with various records appearing on best-of-the-year lists in publications including Pitchfork, Q, and Resident Advisor. Power’s most recent album as Blanck Mass, World Eater, explores the tension between humankind and primal urges. It was released on Sacred Bones in 2017.


This is the third interview in a five-part series celebrating our favourite electronic and synth music albums of 2017. You can read the other interviews in this series here: Annie Hart, Lusine, Yumi Zouma, Hauschka (forthcoming).


Which non-fiction book would you recommend?
Games Primates Play by Dario Maestripieri is a great, eye-opening case study on human behaviour based on our primate ancestors. It presents the reader with facts with which they can ‘check themself’.

Which film would you recommend?
How to Get Ahead in Advertising, directed by Bruce Robinson, in which the filth of capitalism is paired with body horror. Betters Robinson’s Withnail and I in my eyes.

Which short film would you recommend?
The Cat Concerto, a Tom and Jerry cartoon directed by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera. It’s just incredible. Narrative without dialogue in this sense seems a thing of the past.

Which short story collection would you recommend?
You’re an Animal, Viskovitz! by Alessandro Boffa, in which the narrator inhabits different animals’ bodies and adopts their traits. A bleak and often funny portrayal of the natural world.

Perspectives

The following questions relate to our Perspectives column, in which two writers respond to an artwork that they are experiencing for the first time.

Can art erase history?
In an evolutionary sense, no. It can, however, inform and act as an instrument of growth.

Can colours portray information as effectively as speech?
Yes - often even more so.

The art of discovery

The following questions relate to Silent Frame’s aim to celebrate the art of discovery.

What does discovery mean to you?
Discovery is the backbone of expression. For me personally, exploration with no ‘set goal’ is the most exciting part of what I do. Anyone who sets out on a voyage with a finished goal in mind cannot experience the journey it takes to open themselves up to new experience.

What question would you like to ask other Silent Frame interviewees?
Is your art’s narrative predetermined, or is it formed during the creative process?


More to discover

Blanck Mass: Visit the artist’s website here, and his Bandcamp page here. Watch the videos for ‘Dead Format’, ‘D7-D5’, ’Please’, and ’The Rat’, and listen to ’Silent Treatment’. His Twitter handle is @BlanckMass.

Today’s recommendations: Games Primates Play (excerpt), How to Get Ahead in Advertising (trailer), The Cat Concerto (film), You’re an Animal, Viskovitz! (excerpt).


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