Blank Thomas

405 Skies

First tape of 2016 is a brief, but studiously paced, solo-synth outing by the way of purveyors of Midwest experimentalism - Dismal Niche. Blank Thomas is Blake Butler, Blake Butler is Blank Thomas. Under this moniker, Butler creates wandering and woozy synthscapes under the intermittent glow of a central control panel glow. Pulling the thread of weary synth lines - sometimes tuned to a trumpet in the lone and dreary wilderness but often unadorned or pitch shifted just below the threshold of our hearing - that float through compositions like ghosts of former tenants with no knowledge that they are dead through the needle of clamoring, clanging post-industrial beats and auxiliary percussion.

Often, this percussion is layered in the mix to create a sturdy backbone tuned to the hearty and hollow thump of knuckles against breastbone, keeping the track upright but putting a slight hitch in the step of the composition, like being just drunk enough to really believe you are walking in a straight line.Then, as if to negate this sentence totally, beats are spilled out in neckbreaking post-IDM machine gun rhythm only to recede back into placid ambiance over skittering drum machine patterns bleating from some loft space that the 10 or so kids in your Midwestern former-metropolis who "get it" come to worship. 405 Skies is a wholly pleasurable listening experience for synth-nerds tracking every minute knob turn or modulated patch-in and the rest of us.

Ryan H.

January 11th, 2016