Flashbulb - Love As A Dark Hallway

Album cover
Flashbulb
Love As A Dark Hallway
Flashbulb - Love As A Dark Hallway Review rating:
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Average: 5 (1 vote)

The man behind Flashbulb, Benn Jordan, isn’t the one to sit idly in the backroom after releasing new material. He has churned out an album practically every year since his release of Girls.Suck.But.YOU.Don’t. Perhaps Jordan’s brilliant distribution of Soundtrack To A Vacant Life has allowed this rapid pace of album production to actually gain some headway. Through bit torrent, Jordan released STAVL and in turn it gained massive exposure through some sites that will not be mentioned. His early career up to the release of STAVL brought clear and prevalent influences from other breakcore and electronic artists like Squarepusher. Instead of sticking with his ongoing musical path, Jordan broke free. His next albums gave a more free, airy composure, with Love As A Dark Hallway, Jordan still trends towards this, but still projects his inner, early career influence of acid jazz (in very limited ways) and the tag of IDM.

While you’ll find nothing of the sort as seen as his more seminal break core album in Flexing Habitual there are slight moments where the anticipation of those drum breaks are needed. Conceivably, this isn’t the direction Jordan doesn’t drift towards any longer. Just as in Arboreal, Love As A Dark Hallway has small, unobtrusive, calming drum breaks, but the mixture of the jazz element and heavy piano upon his recent effort creates another dynamic that Jordan hasn’t exactly concentrated on. Sure, his past influences of µ-Ziq and Squarepusher in varying degrees. The breaks aren’t nearly as powerful, but those jazz elements that they incorporated are all over Love As A Dark Hallway. To be frank, it is very much a waltz of sorts that is played between the piano and separate electronic interlude. Where past album had a major connection by either audio samples or general musical vibrancy – Love As A Dark Hallway struggles. “Let Me Walk You To Your Honda” reminiscent of recent albums, heavily electronic with more reliance on its atmosphere and electronic wandering then what is more focused on Love As A Dark Hallway’s massive jazz influx. Maybe, the fact that there lacks any high-tempo approach on this album as opposed to Arboreal or even STAVL had in many instances. “A Batpist Church In Georgia” breaks into vapid form with seemingly a single piano in the mix. Largely this is the problem the album encounters and it becomes good measure on the actual liveliness of this album. There are no frantic moments, no passionate, energetic moments, just a calming pass.

In all certainty Love As A Dark Hallway is marketed as a jazz driven album with splices of electronic diversity, but it comes off as a ambient album with its calming attitude. It works in that regard, but without the more clever flashes they feel almost uninspiring to the point of dullness. Understandably too, Jordan has distanced himself from his past influence; there just doesn’t seem to be much hard drum break left within the inner-Flashbulb to make this album leap at you in any direction. It’s unfortunate too because it could of done wonders in the right circumstances. Still, Jordan does offer more diversity in his catalog for him to play with.

1. Wake Up, Gladiatory
2. Pastorial Whiskers
3. The Basement Guitarist
4. The Basement Community
5. Heroes On Your Lawn At Night
6. A Baptist Church In Georgia
7. Virtuous Cassette
8. Tres Ebow
9. Let Me Walk You To Your Honda
10. Teeming Disconnected
11. Love As A Dark Hallway
12. An Imperfect Song At A Gig That Never Existed
13. We Are Alone In A City

Benn Jordan is an idm musician operating under many pseudonyms. Since 1999 his most widely distributed and eclectic music has been released under the name of The Flashbulb, whose songs mostly fall under the idm/breakcore genre. Other names Benn operates under are Benn Jordan, Q-Bit, Flexe, Dr. Lefty, Acidwolf, Human Action Network, DJ ASCII, Lucid32, Dysrhythmia, chr15tpunch3r, Sixty Six Ex, rapemachine and rnd16.

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