I remember the moment I first heard The Flashbulb, Benn Jordan’s sporadic musical brainchild. It was at the time he had been fighting with iTunes over the publication of his music by an unknown entity (specifically Soundtrack to a Vacant Life). He had never authorized Apple to sell his music for him, though someone else had, and this unknown party (alongside Apple) was keeping the profits. Somewhere along the line, Benn was fed up and decided to upload the album to BitTorrent. Strange set of circumstances, but that little bit of publicity pulled me in and made me a customer.
Circumstances aside, Love as a Dark Hallway delights my multi-genre side to no end. Benn remains true to form in this stellar fusion of electronic, jazz, rock and classical piano. All instrumental in nature, every one of the 13 tracks makes sure that you’re paying attention. From the chilled out, honky-tonk style piano playing from the “Wake Up, Gladiator” first track (which then mutates into a high speed electronic-a-thon), to the huge sounding melodies of my personal favorite “Heroes on Your Lawn Tonight“, The Flashbulb takes a plethora of genres and morphs them together with ease.
Sporadica. That’s what I’d call it.
Love is a Dark Hallway is Benn at his most reserved, best thought out moment of music creation. Not that anything in his past was too crazy-go-nuts, but I see this album as the amalgamation of the many great ideas he only hinted at in previous albums. He even included a live track entitled “The Imperfect Song at a Gig that Never Existed” which seems a bit out of place at first listen. The closing track “We are Alone in a City” rounds the album out with an epic guitar fest with huge post-rock style drums.
It’s good to note here how much effort has been put in on the production end of things – not so much of the music, but of the digital album. It might be a small detail, but each of the tracks that have been uploaded to Bandcamp have specific photos attached to each of them. They’re mostly shots of recording equipment, instruments, and even a rabbit. Quite a nice touch to see on your iPod as you’re rocking out.
Take a listen to my home-brewed instrumental/indietronic album
"The Past Is a Story We Tell Ourselves"
I'm told that it sounds like The Album Leaf, Balmorhea, and Emancipator.