In the past, Justin K. Broadrick tore our faces off, delightfully, with his electronic-industrial bands Godflesh and Jesu, among many others. Being pummeled by layers of distorted guitars and machine-gun snare hits never felt so good. Now, Broadrick is revisiting his 2007 Jesu release, Pale Sketches, with a remix album of songs that would sound right at home on an M83 release.
If recent Jesu releases can be considered indicators, the slow, ambient, shoe-gazer sounds of these remixes should come as no surprise to Broadrick’s fans. The melodic ambience of “Can I Go Now (Gone Version)” is just a step away from the mood and tone of his recent work, which happens to sound just as good at 80 bpm as it does at 120 bpm. “Wash It All Away (Cleansed Dub)” would fit in well in a Kruder and Dorfmeister set, as bass rolls in under lightly struck synth chords and a skittering drum beat.
At times the music becomes repetitive and perhaps overly languid, leaving one wishing for an injection of verve, a burst of distorted squalor. But make no mistake, this isn’t exactly VW commercial music. There’s still an edge here, an underlying sinister, creeping dread that Broadrick seems to revel in. And that’s what makes this remix album worth repeated listens.