Category Archives: Blanck Mass

The Demonic Fjords

Featuring : Blanck Mass + Gazelle Twin

GazelleTwin

Gazella Twin has a new remix album out with all sorts of good people taking their turn remixing tracks from 2014’s Unflesh.  Including spirit parents of this blog, Carter Tutti.

Today, we’ll be focussing entirely on Blanck Mass’s squelchy, dark acid/afro-beat/techno reconfiguration of Still Life.  And when you hear it you’ll know why…

Gazelle Twin – Still Life (Blanck Mass remix)

Blanck Mass goes hard, like you’d go hard racing across a radiation bleached desert toward the only source of fuel.  Like you’d go hard armed with a spiked baseball bat against an inter-dimensional demogorgon.  Like you’d go hard if you wanted to recreate in acid, the explosive moments of MIA’s discography if they were all set at night in heavy black and white.

Because what we have here are planet killing drums behind Gazelle Twin’s treated vocal, a vocal ripped straight from a dead eyed police statement after her coven’s unleashed the apocalypse.   Lazers fly high in the sky over the reanimated corpse of Acid House, bought to life to serve in the demonic hordes of pitch black Techno that now run the streets.

Get Fleshed Out from Gazelle Twin’s Bandcamp right here.

 

On how to get humans to fail the Turing Test.

Featuring : Basic House + Blanck Mass

riddick15

Last night*, the 20Jazzfunkgreats arrived home late, exhausted after a day spent speeding down the humanity-crammed tunnels of the circulatory system of the big smoke.

  • Too exhausted to jump inside the digital skin of an avatar, and speed over the nascent AI-crammed streets of the skin of Liberty City (with anticipation about GTA V’s forthcoming release).
  • Too exhausted to be blinded by Frederik Pohl’s immortality, through his Gateway.
  • Too exhausted to open the window at a universe gearing out for war again.

Too exhausted for anything, except watching some trailers for forthcoming Hollywood blockbusters in YouTube.

Big mistake buster.

This was a soul-carpet-bombing experience. There was not a single moment of intrigue, excitement or allure among the wares being peddled by Tinseltown’s alleged dream-weavers.

  • Chief in its appallingness must have been ‘RIPD’, a pastiche of Men in Black and Ghostbusters starring an animatronic based on Jeff Bridges.
  • Close in its wake came White House Down, which looked like a sub-Splinter Cell disaster film where, erm, the White House goes down.
  • Prisoners was another of those “How Far Would You Go to Save Your Family/Country/Daughter?” rhetorical questions which always seem to be answered viz: “I would lock whoever in a dark room and torture the shit out of them”.
  • As the trailer for Robocop stumbled through Google’s intrusive adverts, an ectoplasm materialised in 20Jazzfunkgreats’ dank lounge spelling the following words: WHY EVEN FUCKING BOTHER.
  • Not even Vin Diesel’s awesome growl, our respect for his Advanced Dungeon & Dragons chops, and the fact that he looks a bit like our cat Nebula could make us look forward to the new Riddick thing, which looked like one of those console games you can pick up in Computer Exchange for £7.99.

Which touches upon an important point: Most of these films looked like the cut-scenes of video games, the problem being, that the cut-scenes of video games tend to be, with exceptions like Rockstar games, the Last of Us, and (in a ridiculous way) Kojima and Resi Evil games, the bit where we go to the kitchen to pour ourselves a whiskey (even Prisoners looked a bit like a rubbish version of Heavy Rain).  Quite pathetically, Robocop even had some first person infrared style target identification that made us think of the infamous film adaptation of Doom featuring The Rock. It truly looked like the interactive bits of a video game without, erm, the interaction.

That tortured soul chained in the antechambers to the Pits of Anguish uncountable spiritual leagues away shrieked once again, and the ectoplasmic words of truth shone in our dank lounge.

WHY EVEN FUCKING BOTHER.

As ever, 20jazzfunkgreats resolves these moments of despair by deludedly escaping into a made-up universe where things are ‘the way they should be’, viz.

isolatarium

Impossible mathematics are taught in schools that look like that flashback in Akira, and large corporations convinced us that the product we really want, the product that will keep us young and desirable, are located outside the Solar System. Adverts are now targeted at humanity, instead of at humans.

We interface, trade and battle with otherworldly intelligences through an Oculus Jack-enabled browser compatible with the cosmic matrix.

We must admit that seen from the outside, this doesn’t look particularly impressive: some scrawny geeks holding their knees in a corner of their lounge, rocking back and forth, is that a thin sliver of saliva dangling from their trembling lips? Yes, but come inside, the vistas and potentialities are totally awesome.

For example, today we are going to the cinema to watch this film that sounds really cool. It is inspired by that admired classic of the early 20th Century that got a 6.3 score from Pitchfork (one day PF will issue an apology for that) ‘They Were Wrong So We Drowned’ where Liars told us the story of a village built at the foot of a mountain inhabited by a coven of witches, and the interactions between these two communities.

This imaginary film is set in some vaguely Carpenterian contemporary urban setting, an inner-city neighbourhood collapsing around a dilapidated basketball court, think of the ambiance of bad things lurking in the shadows below you in the cellars above you in the ceilings behind your back as you turn around with a shudder, in Dark Water, or the Horror of Red Hook (but without the racism.)

This here could be in the soundtrack: with much bareness a storm is summoned, drums bounce and crack omen-full, and the synthesisers hoot harsh like owls in the depths of a forest you enter through gaping windows and cracked walls, in its centre you find a white basketball court where shadow-creatures play their game in silence, using a sphere of night.

Basic House – Denial As Method

Basic House’s Denial As Method is actually included in The Isolatarium, the soundtrack for Brad Rose of Digitalis’ first novel of the same title. We haven’t yet read it, but will report on it as soon as we do so. You can get it here, and the soundtrack here.

blanckmass

Of course, our curmudgeonly reaction above embodies a pessimistic outlook on the behaviours of Hollywood moguls.

It may be the case that their re-hashing, stealing and lowest common denominator converging behaviour is simply aimed at abolishing unsustainable ideologies of progress, generating a present which is the past which is the future, a new world which is a liquid Solaris-like pool of memories/hopes/emotions, actions/reactions and causes/consequences spilling orthogonally to the fallacious arrow of time, and the illusion of distance.

Everything comes together here, like a Societal orgy, but serene instead of frantic, of the soul and of the flesh that we leave behind as we sublime, thank you Hollywood, you made us one.

Blanck Mass – Sundowner

The drones of Blanck Mass, which we firstly came across in the wonderful soundtrack for ‘A Field in England’ (now that’s a film) have burnished many a moment of our trajectory through this year with exaltation, odd glimpses of the beyond we recognise only in retrospect. When the starchild is born, this is the cosmic puree on which its caring mother will raise it. Sundowner is included in his S/T album, go and get it here.

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* This was written on a Saturday.

Last For Us

thelastofus2

You step into a world collapsed. It is as if you were the only thing mobile in the still nature of this city possessed by tendrils of green, sunk under surfaces of water that reflect a clear sky.  It is also as if, allowed to take its time in the canvass of this world in stasis, reality had managed to invent some new colours for you to get lost on. Gradients of fungal grunge in the skin of collapsed skyscrapers, dusk playing a frantic platformer over labyrinths of glass.

There is no-one home, home is so beautiful.

Gustavo Santalaolla – The Quarantine Zone (20 Years Later)

But stasis is an artefact of your senses maladapted to a world marching at a different pace. A pace where the blades of glass trembling, a beetle conquering a hill, the slide of the sun past a murder of loitering clouds, the metronome of water dripping, and the far-away caw of a nameless bird are epoch-defining events, waves of an earthquake that opens rifts into the mantle of epiphanies.

Your heartbeat dissolves into a drone.

Blanck Mass – Chernobyl

When you awake it is night. It is cold. You are alone. You realise that everyone you love is dead.

Every single individual gesture of every single person who ever cared for you accretes into a mound of insurmountable sadness. You know you are walking over the mulch of their bodies after they were hunted by a killer virus escaped from a biotech lab or an evolutionary dead-end. After they were murdered during the chaos following whichever flavour of apocalypse created this world where you now grieve.

Ben Crossbones – Everybody I Love Is Dead

Or maybe you aren’t alone. And maybe being alone wasn’t such a bad thing. Isn’t the ground where you had collapsed a pyramid of  skulls prised open?

First one, then another, then many lights flicker palely in the darkness like evil fireflies. A covenant of witches atop every decayed ruin. Humming of the hymn of a new republic fuelled by extreme violence. You hear a band marching over the rubble to your left, you hide under the skeleton of an office den, and hold your breath.

For a moment you entertain the idea of announcing yourself to them, but then they walk inside the white moonlight.

They look in your direction with blank headhunting eyes, rotting teeth grimace through poorly stitched gashes in emaciated cheeks, everything about them is serrated, implies fine gradations of depravity and pain.

You gasp, they head towards you.

German Army – Communion Arm

You spell yourself into nothingness with Dutch’s Bane, and scamper away.

Ahead of you, two houses.

On the left, there is a compound surrounded with a metal fence garlanded in barbed wire and topped with stern looking totems. Go there.

On the right, a decrepit manor with hollow eyed statues gazing blindly from its shattered portico. Go there.

2013 References

The apocalypse didn’t go out of fashion in 2013. We are starting to get a bit sick of the sickness, but we nevertheless loved the Last of Us (wonderfully soundtracked by Gustavo Santaolalla) and resource-management trek past Zombie-ravaged America in Organ Trail.
Blanck Mass didn’t release Chernobyl this year, but this song sound-tracked an incredible scene in Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England. German Army’s Last Language infected the end of our 2013 with beats which are to dance music what J.G. Ballard is to Sci-Fi. We will probably be re-reviewing it in 2014, just because we can.