Friday 27 January 2017, 7.30pm
Justin K. Broadrick’s output is an intimidating one. Not because it is so incredibly raucous and dirty-sounding, for the most part. It’s just that there is so much of it. His earliest venture began, aged 15, with the recording of his first—and last—record with Napalm Death. From there he formed pioneering industrial metal group Godflesh, who released a slew of seminal albums on Earache throughout the ’90s. In the meantime he’d met Kevin Martin, AKA The Bug, and began experimenting with everything from dub and techno to hip-hop, breakbeat and rowdy ambience as Techno Animal. Together they produced four albums under the moniker, plus a collaboration with Porter Ricks, ultimately bowing out on the monolithic ‘The Brotherhood Of The Bomb’ for Matador in 2001.
In 1999 Broadrick founded Avalanche Recordings, which would serve as an outlet for some of his more expansive millennial work, namely as Final, Jesu and JK Flesh. Jesu was born from the ashes of Godflesh, a deeply genuine and emotional project that channeled all the raw anguish of his former band into more contemplative post-industrial and shoe-gazing song-structures. Final, a minimal ambient-guitar project—which actually pre-dates Godflesh—was recently picked up by Downwards, who put out the seven-track double vinyl ‘Black Dollars’ at the start of 2016. They backed ‘Nothing Is Free’ next, complete with Surgeon remix, credited this time to Broadrick’s JK Flesh guise. There’s also the somber and ethereal Pale Sketcher alias, which grew out of a remix album of Jesu material on Ghostly International.
JK Flesh debuted proper in 2012 with the album ‘Posthuman’ on 3BY3, but it’s lineage can be traced right back to Kevin“K-Mart” Martin and the pair’s psychedelic industrial techno project, The Sidewinder, which was picked up by Mille Plateaux in 1996. The studio pet-name would later become his surly alter-ego, as Broadrick explained to Resident Advisor in a 2012 interview: “Any remix I would do which had beats that were hard and involved any form of noise or sense of foreboding or threat, I would use the JK Flesh moniker. JK Flesh is the angry, hateful, disenchanted side of what I do with electronic beat-driven, bass-driven music. It’s got a lot more to boot.” And it does. There’s been the stinging ‘Worship Is The Cleansing Of The Imagination’ since, a split with Dominick Fernow as Prurient, and this year’s ‘Suicide Estate’ EP on Fernow’s own Hospital Productions. Now Electric Deluxe has the honour of bringing the next unrelenting JK Flesh album kicking and screaming into the world. Batten down the hatches and prepare for a perilous ride.
An Trinse is Northern Irish multi instrumentalist and artist Stephen McLaughlin. His music deals with the uneasy atmospheres and silences left in the Irish psyche in the aftermath of colonial and religious repression. It serves as an excavation and exorcism rite of this emotional stasis and asks whether its better to disavow these sentiments to exist day to day or confront them head on in search some kind of resolution.
“An Trinse's evocative soundscapes house smatterings of retro-sounding bubbly synths, but it doesn't come across as cosmic, ultimately feeling more like Tim Hecker's self-examining ambience or Kawabata Makoto's unfurling solo minimalism than the likes of a Klaus Schulze or an Eno. This EP comes very highly recommended for anybody in need of their drone fix, and An Trinse promises plenty more to come.” – The Quietus
Helm's first album ‘To An End’ was released on his own label ALTER in 2010. Influenced by 20th century electroacoustic music and Britain’s esoteric post-industrial underground, the record contained two long-form pieces that mixed haunting, respiratory-themed tape music with warm meditative ambience. ‘Cryptography’ followed a year later via Graham Lambkin’s KYE asa five-part suite of glacial drone, reconfigured gamelan clusters and searing metallic resonance. Warmly received by the press and underground community alike, it helped to establish him as a serious new voice in experimental music.
2012 saw the beginning of a working relationship with PAN. His third album ‘Impossible Symmetry’ was released with more of an electronic sound, a result of sessions experimenting with analog synthesizers and rhythmic patterns. Helm performed regularly across Europe, Asia and even North-Africa (Rawabet, a live album of his show in Cairo was released on ALTER in 2017). From galleries to clubs, squatted venues and major festivals, performances took place in a multitude of different contexts including an opening act for a disparate range of groups including Iceage, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Oneohtrix Point Never.
During breaks from touring Younger entered the studio to work on ‘Olympic Mess’. Using repetitive loops to signify motion and movement, Helm’s sound morphed into something upbeat and airy thanks to flirtations with dub-techno and Balearic disco. ‘Olympic Mess’ was released in 2015 and received critical acclaim and support from press and featured in a number of end of year album lists. The sprawling, hypnotic, sometimes euphoric soundscapes act as a counterpoint to the chaos they arose from, as Younger says: “it’s about exploring a perverse desire to pull the rug from under yourself, and the struggle to achieve a healthy equilibrium between one’s own personal and artistic lives… Dealing with the problematic consequences of pushing your own limits, forming and dissolving relationships, transient lifestyles, physical and mental exhaustion, excess and other kinds of personal chaos.”
Younger is a resident DJ on NTS Radio where he has presented his monthly show ‘After Dark’ since 2016. He has also engaged in collaborations with visual artists. A performance at the opening of the Tate Modern’s Tanks space saw Helm perform with video artist and film maker Charles Atlas’ during his ‘Charles Atlas and Collaborators’ series. Subsequently Atlas used edited arrangements from Olympic Mess in his 2015 exhibition “The Waning Of Justice” for Luhring Augustine gallery in New York City. Younger also returned to The Tanks in 2016 to perform in an ensemble using a collection of unorthodox instruments for Tarek Atoui’s “The Reverse Collection”. The same year saw Unsound Festival commission the project “Inner Space: Siberia” with Moscow based musician Moa Pillar and the Embassy For The Displaced, an Athens-based design collective. The project was a location-based A/V collaboration exploring the landscapes of Siberia with audio recorded in Moscow and visuals filmed in the Ural Mountains and Novosibirsk. It premiered at the Vladivostok Film Festival that year with a subsequent performance at Unsound Krakow to an audience of 2000. In support of ‘Chemical Flowers’, Helm has a residency at Cafe OTO, London in October 2019 and will be performing internationally the rest of the year.