The Flashbulb

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The Flashbulb

Jordan was born in Georgia in 1979 and moved to Chicago to live with his grandparents at a young age. Influenced by the local jazz scene, Jordan was an accomplished self-taught guitarist as a child. Due to being left-handed and not having lessons, he learned to play a right-handed guitar upside down, which he continues to do. He began his music career releasing instrumental music on small labels in the United States and Europe in 1996 under various aliases, most notably The Flashbulb, and years later he began to work as a freelance composer for various television and film agencies. In 2006, The Flashbulb toured and worked with The Dillinger Escape Plan which helped diversify his listeners. Benn is still an active jazz guitar player and drummer at Chicago venues.

As The Flashbulb, Jordan typically releases electronic or cinematic styled music. His style differs strongly between albums, but they all have a cohesive bond tied around fast drum programming, jazz-influenced melodies, and a wide array of live instrumentation from various instruments Jordan has acquired. He also often records his melodies through MIDI-synced guitars. His guitar style and skill has gained attention because he typically plays it strung backwards, and makes heavy use of fast sweeping and tapping. More recent Flashbulb albums have featured violinist Greg Hirte, who is featured heavily on The Flashbulb's 2008 album, Soundtrack to a Vacant Life, as well. Soundtrack to a Vacant Life is, as Jordan stated in a 2008 interview, a step away from the breakcore genre. He also said that this step is likely to be a permanent trend in the direction of his music, a move that was supported by releases under his own name, such as Pale Blue Dot and Louisiana Mourning. However, 2012 album Hardscrabble, represents a return to the harder electronic music heard on releases like Kirlian Selections or Flexing Habitual. The record is named for an area within the Bridgeport neighborhood of Jordan's own Chicago. Alphabasic stated that the album would is an "unexpected return to [Jordan's] more challenging and hyper-creative endeavors."

Under other aliases, Benn Jordan's work varies quite a bit. His Acidwolf and Human Action Network aliases feature retro acid music that uses old drum machines such as the TR-808and relies heavily on the melodies of the TB-303. Tracks made under the FlexE alias tend to be laid-back and classic acid. According to him, he showcases his more fundamental, classical, and personal pieces under his own name, Benn Jordan.


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