The ever-reliable Benjamin John Power aka Blanck Mass has revealed the details of his new album: it’s called In Ferneaux and is coming out on February 26 through Sacred Bones.
In a shift from his past work, In Ferneaux will feature two extended tracks, each around 20 minutes in length, simply called “Phase I” and “Phase II”. The last year of isolation has allowed Power the time to go through his catalogue of found sounds and field recordings, and he has woven them throughout the new record to create a sort of travelogue, despite the fact that he – like the rest of us – has been at home.
Rather than share the entirety of either of the pieces from In Ferneaux with the announcement, he has shared “Starstuff”, which is a segment of “Phase I”. It’s a (slightly) more serene approach for Blanck Mass, beginning with lightly splashing synths intermingling with quietly crackling samples, before a more propulsive but still surprisingly clean melody takes hold. Blanck Mass builds a well of potential energy by subtly overlaying more samples, before a trademark blast of percussion kicks “Starstuff” up a gear and we shift into realms more familiar for the producer. Sans the screaming vocals that have characterised his recent work, the ascendant synths and beats are given more space to roam, and “Starstuff” is a straight-up anthem. Just as Blanck Mass seems to be ready to launch us off on a journey, “Starstuff” calms down again – we’ll just have to wait to hear the entirety of “Phase I” to find out what the ultimate destination is.