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JK Flesh – Posthuman


Back in the days when an internet café was a big deal, and a cool, hip, happening place where awesome kids did 72-hour Starcraft sessions and didn’t die (note- these days are actually largely fictional, much like the days immortalised in the movie Tron, when running an amusement arcade was essentially EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEING A ROCK STAR, but I still remember them with fondness), rather than just a place you went to to print out booked train tickets on your lunch break, there was one round the corner from me. In a car park. It had flats attached to it, and in my head it always looked like the sort of place hip, happening, cool Starcraft-playing kids would live and plot virtual bank heists in between gaming and scoring awesome drugs.

A few years later, after it stopped looking so cool, I actually went to one of the flats, and it was quite nice, though a little boxy, and had a rather cool “pipe running along the ceiling” feature/design flaw (delete as applicable). Very much not the sort of place you’d get stabbed to death, for a start. Although (and bloody hell, NOW we get to the point, after that incredible tortuous opening, for which I offer no apology whatsoever, for I am pretending to be one of those hip, happening, cool kids) if you WERE to get stabbed to death there, and your life were to flash before your eyes (for about 45 minutes or so), it would probably sound a lot like Justin Broadrick‘s new project, JK Flesh, and the album Posthuman.

Now, when Broadrick says “posthuman”, I don’t think he means awesome console jockeys “jacking in” to some sort of “space age” “high tech” “internet” (not sure that one really needed the scare quotes, on reflection, but I’ll go with it). Nor, I assume, does he mean Marilyn Manson‘s beautiful androgynes. No, I’m put more in mind of the body-horror of early Cronenberg movies, or alternatively a world, rather than a species, that’s post-human – ie we’re all fucked and big mutant insects fight smashy robots.

Basically, we’re talking about a more electronic version of Godflesh at their most psychedelically fucked-up, only on the epic BIGNESS scale of Techno Animal‘s classic Re-Entry, with some nice Jesu and Final-style bits struggling to escape from the gnashing jaws of the machine thus created in sound. If you like ANYTHING Mr Broadrick’s ever done, there’s probably something in here for you. If you don’t like anything Mr Broadrick’s ever done, then you’re probably wasting your time reading this, and I’m certainly wasting my time writing it, because I really shouldn’t be talking to you at all, Mr I’m-So-Fucking-WRONG.

Gone are the blissed-out vocals of Jesu, and we’ve got something more approaching the Godflesh’s static-laden growls and shouting, only a but more organic and gurgly. The baby-faced noisemonster hasn’t lost any of his edge for brutality. And this is brutal. Relentless like prime-time Swans, and owing as much to Public Enemy‘s “mechanoid onslaught” (in the words of Andrew Eldritch) as to anything more traditionally metal, Posthuman sounds like everything Broadrick’s ever done all at once, and simultaneously like nothing else on Earth.

Except possible watching your life flash slowly before you after being stabbed to death in an imagined version of a place that used to be round the corner from me a decade or so ago. Which is, obviously, a personal opinion. The place around the corner from you might be nothing of the sort. It could be a nice park, for example. Or a jellied eel shop. And it doesn’t sound anything like either of those.

I think what I’m really trying to say can be summed up thus-

Posthuman by JK Flesh is very good, and you should probably buy it.


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