Thrill Jockey

JOHN BENCE - Archangels LP

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John Bence can be described as a Savant in the world of Avant-Garde classical composition, and puts his mastery on full display in his newest release with Thrill Jockey. Archangels is a deep dive into the world and soundscape that Bence carefully crafts to offer a glimpse of the divine. Raised in Bristol’s burgeoning underground electronic music scene and a graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, John Bence manages to employ compositional complexity to manifest potent emotions. Bence’s acclaimed early works focused on the human experience, charting the composer’s own experiences with addiction and alcoholism in both stark minimalism and caustic noise eruptions. Having written Archangels two years into his recovery, Bence deftly threads together gauzy electronic atmospheres, brooding orchestral passages, and minimalist piano meditations. Throughout his work, he manages to finely sew together Gregorian chant, orchestral arrangements, rippling synthesizers, and field recordings to reveal new surprises at every turn. Archangels is a compelling addition to contemporary composition by an artist unbound by classical traditions.