Justin Broadrick is an enigma, a restlessly productive artist and a wearer of many musical hats, or possibly even heads like some Worzel Gummidge of experimental music. Broadrick, like regular collaborator Kevin ‘the bug’ Martin, sometimes seems to devise a new identity every time he has a new musical idea. I often hope one day the pair of them will bring the full range of their terrifying sonic arsenal together on one record that somehow covers the wide spectrum of their efforts. That’d be quite something you’d expect. Kevin & Jason Go Large. Although possibly it’d be a terrible mess and they’re right not to cross the streams, I mean it’s not like they don’t appear to know what they’re doing is it? Still, having so many identities can probably get confusing. And so to ‘Nothing Is Free’ an ironically ‘pay as you like’ download of unfinished work under the J.K. Flesh name. Sometime back around reviving Godflesh Justin decided Jesu had become too electronic and started Pale Sketcher to carry on in that vein. That seems to be where the identities finally started piling up too high because while ‘Seventh Heaven’ is great the last couple of Jesu records returning to a more guitar based sound have been a little disappointing. Pale Sketcher seemed to run aground quickly too. There’s some pay as you like downloads on bandcamp from a couple of years back there as well and while they’re absolutely worth a listen they seem to lack focus or direction. Meanwhile back on the noisier, angrier end of things he reanimated the J.K. Flesh name he’d used in Techno Animal (with Martin) and made ‘Posthuman’ and a split with Prurient. This release is the past couple of years worth of J.K. Flesh material. I called it unfinished but it’s not really, Broadrick notes that it is ‘sound in transition’ which is more accurate. There are no vocals on it at all and he obviously doesn’t see it as complete enough to put out as a full release. Maybe he just doesn’t know what to do with it, maybe he’s just been busy with Godflesh, and the Sun Kil Moon collaboration and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to and so on. What it is, is some punishing noisy industrial crunch and cool electronic sounds swishing about. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the J.K. Flesh sound sits roughly at a midpoint between Godflesh and Pale Sketcher, here and there are even things that remind you of The Bug. It’s a great, if so far slightly undercooked recipe that has the potential to be some of my favourite stuff he’s ever made once it completes its mutation. You should listen to this a couple of times at least.
Meanwhile here’s a sweet old pic of him in the napalm death days. awwww. bless.
Broadrick also pops up all over the latest FACT mix by Vainio & Vigroux which arrives on the back of their great new record and features a chunk of Napalm Death (after he left) a Techno Animal track and a collaboration with Shapednoise.