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Music / The Flashbulb

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Benn Jordan, best known as The Flashbulb (and lesser known as Flexe, Dr. Lefty, Acidwolf, Human Action Network, DJ ASCII, 66x and Benn Jordan, among many other names) is an electronic music producer from Chicago. He is known for his unique takes on breakcore, IDM, and many other lesser known genres of electronic music.


  • Ambient: Frequently. His ambient leanings have only gotten stronger over time, to the point that his albums eventually turned out to be more ambient than IDM.
  • Amen break: Omnipresent.
  • Chiptune: "DJ Ludwig NES Supercom" as a straight example from his Flexe album Programmable Love Songs.
  • Genre Mashup: Very often in his work.
    • Most notably, there's the ambient/hard rock/breakcore album Soundtrack to a Vacant Life.
    • Get Mad Now is a three song EP under his Dr. Lefty alias that combines Breakcore with spoken Ragga Jungle samples; often referred to as Raggacore.
  • Genre Roulette: His entire discography covers an insane number of genres. Breakcore, IDM, glitch, ambient, hip-hop, jazz, chiptune, acid, drum n' bass, guitar & piano medleys, you name it.
  • Jump Scare:
    • Downplayed with "Vicious Circle", which is a rather loud and almost aggressive tribal-style song that suddenly plays in-between the more mellow ambient/rock tracks of Soundtrack to a Vacant Life.
    • Played straight in "Kirlian Isles II", where towards the end of the track a few muffled and echoed shouts suddenly turn into very loud, distorted screams. May also count as Sensory Abuse.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: Played with in "Imperfect Song at a Gig That Never Existed," where the entire time you hear a crowd cheering and screaming happily at the performer, only for the entire background noise to gradually slow down at the end until it just stops completely.
    • Inverted in "The Sun and the Star," where the music instead rapidly speeds up in tempo and pitch until it abruptly stops.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to, say, Venetian Snares, his take on breakcore is focused more on calming ambient noises, melodic intervals and string sections.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The song "Loose Jazz X" from the album Drain Mode ON seems like a reasonably tense breakcore tune, until it gets to the breakdown where we get some out of nowhere scat singing lyrics that sound a lot goofier than what the musical tone implies.
    "Skiddly doo bop bop bow! I need tums in my belly, 'cause I ate too much jelly!"
  • Jack of All Trades: Benn can play guitar, piano, and many other instruments to help compliment his musical style.
  • Mood Whiplash: During "Lucid Bass III," which is a very mysterious, mystical sounding breakcore track, the music at one point suddenly cuts for one measure to play a sample of "Funky For You," by Nice & Smooth before immediately cutting back to the breakcore rhythm.
  • Sampling: Benn Jordan loves his sampling, especially back in his older albums.
    • While he's a prominent user of the Amen break, as mentioned above, another frequently used sample of his is the drum beat from "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock.
    • Another one of his recurring samples are what seems to be 1950's era discussions of a man talking about what high fidelity (Hi-Fi) is. These bits are most prominently featured in the albums Resent and the April Sunshine Shed and Programmable Love Songs.
  • Sensory Abuse:
    • Downplayed, in that a lot of Benn's soundwork is rather strange, but not entirely unpleasant to the ears. Some examples include "The Big Orange Love," "The Exit Track," and "Never Remember January."
  • Sequel Song:
    • "Lawn Wake" is a series of breakcore tracks that made its first appearance in Red Extensions of Me, starting with "Lawn Wake I, II, and III." Around that same time Benn would release an EP called Lawn Funeral, which features an edit of the first Lawn Wake, as well as the next song "Lawn Wake IV (Black)". A year later would see the next one, "Lawn Wake IX"note  in Kirlian Selections, and then another year later we would see the final song in the series, "Lawn Wake XI," featured in Flexing Habitual.
    • The album Red Extensions of Me also featured another set of songs called "Lucid Bass I" and "Lucid Bass II." Two years later would feature the third and final song, "Lucid Bass III," in the album Flexing Habitual.
  • Softer and Slower Cover:
    • Kirlian Selections features a quieter, more somber version of "California Dreaming" by The Mamas & The Papas.
    • Inverted with the song "Chik Habit" from the album Flexing Habitual, which is a very brutal, high-tempo breakcore cover of "Chick Habit" by April March.