Finding solace in a brutal landscape – Blanck Mass – In Ferneaux

Tension headaches. Sensory overload. Emotional overwhelming. Trapped in your own house, forever. It’s been a year since most of us had to lockdown. Some lost their sanity, many lost their lives, our economy is screwed, let’s face it, we all are affected.

Days lost their meaning. The passage of time screeched into a standstill and people took to new skills, honing what they used to dabble upon. Blanck Mass decided to revisit field recordings and many ideas gathered over a decade and found a way to connect them together. The result is In Ferneaux, a brutal piece sectioned into two movements, ‘Phase I’ and ‘Phase II’. I can’t describe exactly all the emotions piercing through as I heard this release but I can recollect some: Joy, sadness, relief, bitterness, a desire to punch a wall, regrets, pining for holidays, and the light of the end of the tunnel dimming cyclically.

So many different emotions manage to dovetail perfectly, flowing without being jarring. I can hear In Ferneaux and pinpoint which part of each Phase represents my every day. Mentally preparing for Zoom classes. The desperation of teaching to a black mosaic of uninterested students. The anger and frustration of being inside. The ineptitude of governments to help their own people. The twitter threads. The harsh realities of lockdown. When will this is end? How will it end? Music is our only palleative balm.

Sometimes creatives have something in the back burner, simmering until the moment becomes right to revisit and edit in a no nonsense, “kill your darlings” approach. If 2019’s Animated Violence Mild was a saturday night bender in an old industrial city murdered by Maggie Thatcher, then In Ferneaux is a sunday, from dawn to dusk, full of headaches, regrets, and a the occasional moment of clarity. This too shall pass.

Words: Sam J. Valdés López

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