Justin K. Broadrick unleashing new JK Flesh, Final and Council Estate Electronics material (listen)
When he's not serving as one half of industrial greats Godflesh or collaborating with Mark Kozelek under the phenomenal Jesu/Sun Kil Moon moniker, prolific noisemaker Justin K. Broadrick has several other incredible projects that keep him quite busy and tinkering with all sorts of aural genres. Recently, his solo endeavor JK Flesh released an eight-track beast called Rise Above, which came out in June via Electric Deluxe. The purpose of JK Flesh is to take listeners into “the realm of heavy/brutal electronica – informed by dub, power electronics and the extreme excesses of electronic music driven by beats and bass. Justin initially used this pseudonym in Techno-Animal with co-conspirator Kevin Martin (The Bug / King Midas Sound, etc).” Whereas his 2015 masterpiece Nothing Is Free shoved listeners face-first into a horrifying aural landscape of up-tempo drum and bass-esque beats often peppered with terrifying vocals, pummeling bass lines, and industrial wastelands of ambience, Rise Above seems to follow a single thread from track to track; tempo-wise, all of the beats seem to be in the same neighborhood with one another. I feel like Justin, a master of drum patterns and beat manipulation, uses the overarching tempo of the record as a backbone upon which he layers other elements onto as the record progresses. It's a dirty, grimy, ominous trip into a dank, hellish nightclub. Stream it:
One of Justin's oldest solo projects (and one of my personal favorites of his) is Final, and on June 29 he released a four-song, two-hour, 15-minute epic titled Live Reprocessed / Birmingham 2009 which you can get for a measly $5. For the uninitiated, Final has existed sporadically since 1983, when Justin was just 13. In 1986, while pursuing activities with Napalm Death, Head of David, and Godflesh, Justin put Final on hold. He brought Final out of hibernation in 1992 and used it as a vehicle to explore "more sombre, ambient themes and beatless spaces, sometimes almost exclusively guitar based". Live Reprocessed is an fantastic assemblage of reduced, thick, semi static heavy ambient drone, for very quiet or extremely loud listening. The entire Final catalog is worth investing in, in my opinion, because it's an astounding document of how many different strata of ambience one man can create in one lifetime.
In other JKB related news, his project Council Estate Electronics are gearing up to unleash their third release, their first on the Glacial Movements label, in September. Titled ARKTIKA this record will be a part of Glacial Movements' Iceberg Series and will be Council Estate Electronics' first physical, non-digital only release (their first two albums, 2009's Kitsland and 2012's Longmeadow, were digital only releases). More on this:
The original concept for COUNCIL ESTATE ELECTRONICS was for Justin K Broadrick and Diarmuid Dalton, via analog synths and electronics, to pay tribute to the synthesizer music they were influenced by in their youth : Tangerine Dream, Throbbing Gristle, Kraftwerk, Cluster, etc. Set to the imagery and geography of the council estate in Birmingham in which they were both raised; Shard End and the surrounding areas. Once the duo set to work on the music they found other influences seeping in - seventies dub like King Tubby, Scientist, etc and early dub techno founders Basic Channel, Maurizio, Chain Reaction label, etc, thus expanding the sound palette and the geographical environment that was to be the theme for the project.
Council Estate Electronics are a fantastic and grossly underrated and overlooked project. They have elements of both Final and JK Flesh in terms of beat composition, experimentation, ambience, and dirtiness, but the sound is so patently lo-fi and analog sounding that it definitely falls into a niche all it's own. Check out some Council State Electronics below.
And don't forget to catch Justin in the flesh when the Jesu/Sun Kil Moon tour hits Warsaw on November 10!