Honestly Justin Broadrick must not be able to sleep. Not only famed for being one half of the monstrous and legendary Godflesh, but contributing to the first incarnation of Napalm Death, the brains behind Jesu, part of Techno Animal, Pale Sketcher (along side Kevin ‘The Bug’ Martin), Scorn and Greymachine, he has written and torn up the rule book on industrial, dub, ambient, grindcore and chucked in a health dose of the kitchen sink to boot.
Having seemingly finished with Godflesh and Techno Animal back in the early noughties following a mental breakdown that saw him retreat from public view, he has since re-emerged with Jesu and gotten stronger than ever – to the point where his project portfolio is as relentless these days as Street Cleaner was on its debut. This latest venture sees him resurrect his Techno Animal incarnation of JK Flesh with this years Posthuman full length album.
The opening track off the album, the single/preview/video/whateveryoucalltheadverttrackthesedays, ‘Knuckledragger’ starts the whole thing off in a fairly unassuming electronic manner before the throbbing beats manifest into the terrifying darkness we have come to expect from the man. It is even further away from metal than his current Jesu incarnation but there is no arguing that this is a seriously dark and disturbing piece of music with ugly mechanical intonations running through it.
‘Idle Hands’ continues the theme, littered with blips and bleeps and swirling electronic noises which give way to grinding riffing and barking harsh vocals. Sound wise this is closer to home for fans of Godflesh, but that’s not to say it is a comfortable listen. Like the first track, this is a collision of dub and doom that could only be wrought by one man.
‘Punchdrunk’ sounds like the Aphex Twin classic ‘Come To Daddy’ on Mogadon, all garbled screaming lyrics and clattering drums, but slowed to an almost impossible pace whilst Devoured cranks up the tension before melting into the kind of trip hop style dance that The Prodigy would have been proud of back in the ‘Experience’ days.
The title track ‘Posthuman’ takes this side of JK Flesh up a notch and is a full on six and a half minute dub, breakbeat freak out, heavy on the electronics and absent of any guitar.
For those feeling a little short changed on the instrument side should not be fooled by some of the words used to describe this music, this is not some fluffy club filling soundtrack for an Ibiza summer; this is an album containing music where the darkness scratches and claws at your very soul. ‘Earthmover’ is a prime example of this – some of the samples you have probably heard on a Ministry of Sound album if you have ever had the ‘pleasure’ but the distorted vocals and the almost Circle Of Shit style drumming gets under your skin in a way that lingers.
‘Dogmatic’ is almost straight forward dub, whilst ‘Underfoot’ is more familiar ground for fans of Godflesh’s Love & Hate In Dub, before ‘Walk Away’ closes the album out in a haunting manner.
When he was gone Broadrick, left behind a catalogue of great music to be remembered and celebrated. Since his return he has set about dismantling and reassembling his vision in a frenetic manner, adding new chapters to his already impressive discography. ‘Posthuman’ is just the latest mutation, but it is a gripping , terrifying journey and a must have for JKB completest.
Label: 3by3 Music
Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden