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The eight track LP, made up of producer Blanck Mass’ original productions of Violence, also includes the brand new single ‘Barricades’, unveiled today with a deeply satisfying mechanical video created by Bristol based Hi-Sim Studios – watch here.
“Tom told me something about the song which got me thinking about how our bodies are these amazing machines – brimming with little processes that perform precise functions to perfection. But sometimes they fail us and the smallest of errors can become catastrophic. I thought it would be interesting to represent this concept using simple and visually appealing perpetual motion machines”, Hi-Sim explains.
The story of The Blanck Mass Sessions begins in 2017. Editors invited producer Benjamin John Power, aka Blanck Mass, to deconstruct the recordings that were to be the building blocks of Violence, and reassemble them in his signature saw-toothed experimental electronica. The band then enlisted producer Leo Abrahams to find the middle ground between the two recordings, fusing the raw emotion of their takes with the sparse ferocity of the Blanck Mass original productions. Whilst this fusion of the three creative influences went on to become Violence, Benjamin’s versions remained a work of art worthy of their own release, as frontman Tom Smith explains:
“When we initially approached Ben to work with us on Violence we gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted. It seemed stupid to try and instill any boundaries or direction to him as he has such a singular, authored sound to everything he puts his hand to… so we left him to it. The results of that process being this release. A very visceral version of our album Violence.”
For lead single ‘Barricades’, Smith’s hopeful lyrics combine with yearning synths over robotic drum machines and sweeping basslines, while ‘Cold’ is given a frostier edge through Blanck Mass’ harsh percussion and robotic directness. ‘Violence’s stripped back beat builds and erupts into a synth-fuelled chorus brim-full of busy drum patterns and ‘Magazine’s jaunty, sweeping synths and rolling snares lend it even more electronic swagger than the original. ‘Hallelujah (So Low)’ gifts the greatest insight into the triangular relationship Violence was born from. The warmth of the album version’s acoustic guitar and industrial fuelled chorus are replaced with sparse, ethereal synths, giving the track, and The Blanck Mass Sessions in general, a mechanical, other-worldly edge.
Six studio albums into their existence and Editors sound as energised as ever. 2018 saw the release of Violence; another top 10 record to add to their impressive back catalogue, which includes two #1 albums and 3 platinum certifications. A sold out UK tour culminating in an acclaimed show at O2 Academy Brixton followed a string of festival performances, including supporting The Cure at BST in Hyde Park and headlining the Werchter Classic, topping a bill that also contained heavyweights Kraftwerk and The National.
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