Justin Broadrick preps first Pale Sketcher release in nearly 10 years – listen to “Rollercoaster”
One of the most thrilling things about heavy musician Justin Broadrick is the sheer volume and variety of sonic motifs he explores and the relentlessness with which he produces and releases these sounds as full lengths, EPs, collabs, and b-sides. Although one could argue that there might be a thin aural thread that connects his 40 years of musical output, his knack for experimentation has led him to having a deep catalog that reveals a mastery of hip hop, punk, drum & bass, grindcore, industrial, hard techno, noise, and ambient. Releasing such a profound variety of music under a single moniker would suffocate the expansiveness of his catalog, so over the years Broadrick has done the taxonomy for us and created different "bands," each representing a particular sonic motif. I know JK Flesh will be loud, challenging, and slightly chaotic. I know Final will deliver sweeping, heavy, ambient soundscapes that don't follow a metronome. I know Jesu will likely be a dense, guitar-and-vocals heavy experience with live and programmed drums and heavy electronics. And I know Pale Sketcher will be laden with killer trip hop and drum & bass beats and samples combined with sweeping ambiance.
Pale Sketcher is a project I am particularly fond of, born in August 2010 with the release of Jesu: Pale Sketches Demixed where Justin took Jesu's 2007 release Pale Sketches and completely reworked it. The result was a deeper, more beautiful, more beat-driven ambient experience. Since then, Pale Sketcher has only seen a few releases; Seventh Heaven in 2011, Warm Sunday in 2013, and the EP Just Won't Sing in the winter of 2013. Across these releases Broadrick really showcased his agilities as a master of beats, ambience, sampling, and mood.
Justin is finally back with Golden Skin, the first Pale Sketcher release in nearly a decade, which will be out this Friday, September 23, via GIVE/TAKE. Here's the official word:
Written and recorded primarily between 2009-2013, Golden Skin was originally slated for release on Richard D. James’ (Aphex Twin) Rephlex Records prior to it shuttering, and it evokes fond memories of the height of experimentation in IDM/braindance while still resonating heavily with the here and now. Unearthed and completed by Broadrick specifically for its unveiling on GIVE/TAKE, the full-length album reveals itself as a devastatingly beautiful and essential new entry in the artist’s repertoire.
The album is vintage Pale Sketcher. Broadrick's beats are the perfect backbone to the heavily processed vocal samples and ambient electronic flourishes. Ahead of Friday's release, we've got the premiere of "Rollercoaster," which is a perfect snapshot of what this entire album does so well. The song, and the album overall, feels much brighter and less melancholy than previous Pale Sketcher releases, but perhaps other people will experience it differently (that's what I love about Broadrick's work in general; a lot of how you experience it depends on your mindset at that moment. But I digress). Listen to that and "I'm Your Possession" below.
Golden Skin is out this week digitally and on CD, with a vinyl release pressed on transparent wax and housed in a gatefold sleeve, will be out in early 2023. Preorder yours now.
2. A Joy Only We Know
3. Have Faith
4. Heart Beat
5. I'm Your Possession 06:40
6. Golden Skin
8. Hymn For Light