An industrial techno EP that's one track shy of brutal perfection.
JK Flesh - Wasplike EP
The Wasplike EP is one track shy of brutal perfection. The only thing holding it back is "Dark Horse," but let's place that closer on hold and instead talk about the perfect first three tracks. On "Wasplike," "Mindprison" and "New Build Estate," Justin K Broadrick eschews JK Flesh's roots in grinding industrial beat-work for swift, tightly looped techno that drops the project in classic Downwards terrain. There are gobs of the musician's colossal bass patterns, smudged distortion and ability to make drums and percussion sound like humping cinder blocks, but they've been tucked and folded into some of the most dance floor-engineered material of his career. Broadrick achieved a similarly Birmingham-inspired hardness on 2017's Exit Stance EP (which Downwards did release). This stuff is even colder and more smothering, dialling up the tension between paranoia and pleasure, weariness and euphoria.
This tension dissipates with the aforementioned "Dark Horse." Wiping away its predecessors' manically writhing syncopation and military sense of discipline, the song pulls Broadrick back towards the beefy and more linear sound of earlier JK Flesh recordings. It's a solid and well-crafted track, one probably intended as a well-deserved comedown after being throttled. But Broadrick has become so adept at hard techno that he could have taken no prisoners and carried the sound to the EP's last battering kick.
Wed / 13
B1 New Build Estate
B2 Dark Horse