The Flashbulb

Benn Jordan (jazz and electronica musician), also known as Acidwolf, CHR15TPUNCH3R, DJ ASCII, Dr. Lefty, Dysrythmia, FlexE, Human Action Network, Lucid32, MC Flashbulb, rapemachine, rnd16, 66x or Q-Bit.

Electric jazz/electronic mastermind hailing from Chicago. Discography to date includes Pale Blue Dot (2008), Arboreal  (2010), Love as a Dark Hallway  (2011), Hardscrabble  (2012), Nothing Is Real  (2014) and Compositions For Piano (2015).

Benn Jordan is particularly direct when it comes to the origins of The Flashbulb. “In the mid-70's,” he recounts, “Lee Jordan and Denise Richardson met while vacationing in Virginia. Many sexual instances later Denise noticed she was more nauseated than usual. Nine months later the band was formed, but did not record music for another fourteen years.” In other words: it’s just him. The Flashbulb is a one-man operation, and Benn is the brains and talent behind it.

And "talent" could be seen as something of an understatement. Benn has a remarkable affinity for all things musical. He was left-handed and only had a right-handed guitar as a kid. Solution? He learned to play the damn thing upside down. It’s a sense of invention and anything-is-possible attitude that has since seen him release music on independent labels since 1996, and also produce music for various films and TV shows.

In terms of categorizing his sound, Benn likes to keep things ambiguous. “I pretty much do whatever I want and let other people describe it,”he says. “Right now probably 70s era jazz (Metheny, Jaco, etc.) and old library music are my main influences. It doesn't really show itself in my work stylistically but I'm really inspired by the structure and parallel universe when it comes to attention to detail.” This universe is one that has evolved significantly over the years. “I feel like every album is a total evolution,” he reflects. “Some might argue that one jump will be inferior to the last too. My worst fear is making the same sounding album twice.” He’s therefore spread out his catalogue into a variety of different aliases. The Flashbulb primarily releases drill 'n bass and breakcore-infused beats.

Benn is very philosophical about his career trajectory to date. If he feels proud of his achievements (and rightfully so) he will mainly feel that way “for my family's or friend's sake. I was on the cover of a major Chicago newspaper last year and everyone was really stoked about it. For me it was just surreal though. I think my biggest joy or feelings of failure come from the actual writing process. Everything else isn't really part of my reality anymore. I try to ignore it and just keep working.”

As he continues to carve out his very own unique niche, it’s getting increasingly difficult to pinpoint The Flashbulb’s contemporaries. “In terms of style I'm not really sure,” he muses. “I've played with Emancipator this year, and while we have a very different sound, we both had a very similar live set and following. Bartel and other label-mates of mine seem to all be in the same direction I suppose.”

As for how that direction will evolve? Keep 'em peeled – you’ll more than likely be hearing a lot more from The Flashbulb in the future.


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