When writing the quick piece on the JK Flesh / Monrella split, our tentation was to wrap it up with the recurring recap of recent releases by both artists. However, Justin Broadrick‘s 2020 was featured enough releases, under the aliases of JK Flesh, Final, Jesu, and Tech Level 2, that it definitely warrants a piece of its own.
We begin not with a records but with live sets (in a 2020 sense). To do that, we go all the way to La Coruña, Galicia, for the Archaic podcast, to Italy, where Dissonanze Recordings is based, and to Mexico, where we find The Forgotten podcast. First, in February, JK Flesh appeared on the edition 300.2 of the Arcahic podcast for a “live & raw old school vinyl dj mix,” a session recorded live with “2 x technics 1210’s and basic dj mixer,” using nothing after the year 2000.
Later in the year, Dissonanze Recordings, whose podcasts can be found here, was celebrating its fourth anniversary and hosted a live hardware session by JK Flesh, which you can hear below.
Finally, there’s the JK Flesh appearance at The Forgotten podcast for another live hardware session, which you can hear below.
The first JK Flesh release of the year consisted of a techno collaboration with Echologist under the joint guise of JK Flesh vs Echologist. Titled «Echology Vol. 1», it was mastered by Dominic Rippel and can be heard below.
«Echology Vol. 1» was released on March 25 by Avalanche Recordings on digital format and can be purchased here in the pay what you want system. A month later almost to the day, a JK Flesh song was released as part of «Murder 01» a compilation by Murder, a Tbilisi based electronics label. The JK Flesh song is titled «Jellyfish» and is the first of five, on a compilation that also includes BMSK, Codex Empire, Puritan, and Crystal Geometry.
«Murder 01» was released on April 24 by Murder and is available here on digital and vinyl formats. JK Flesh released yet another compilation track, «Weaponised», later in the year.
«Weaponized» by JK Flesh was released on July 10 through London White as part of a compilation alongside 7XINS, Keikari, and Voicedrone which can be found here. While this was the last release of the year for the project, we didn’t follow a strict chronological order so as to save the best for last. A mere days earlier, on July 3, the «Depersonalization» full-length was released, described as “crushing, thumping, devastating industrial techno,” something you can confirm below. One should note that this are not recent songs, but rather older tracks.
«Depersonalization» was released on July 3 by Hospital Productions and is available here on digital format. On the same day, a dub remix of the record’s third track by Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, «Dissociation», was released also released by the label.
Taking a break from sheer electronics, Oathbreaker released «Ease Me» in EP format on May. The song, originally from Adult Swim’s 2019 compilation «Metal Swim 2» saw its first physical release through Deathwish in vinyl format, with four additional remixes of itself by Jesu, Chelsea Wolfe, Wife, and Michael A. Muller. Prior to «Ease me», Oathbreaker’s final outing had occurred with 2016’s highly acclaimed «Rheia». The new song was recorded by Michael Neyt at the Jetson Studio in Kortrijk, Belgium, and subsequently mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley at the Atomic Garden in San Francisco, California.
«Ease Me & 4 Interpretations» was released on May 8 by Deathwish and is available here on digital and vinyl formats. The release of the video of Jesu‘s remix, which you can see here, came accompanied by the announcement that new Jesu material was forthcoming. We’ll get to that later in the piece.
Speaking of bombshell announcements, shortly after the Oathbreaker remix, news emerged of the re-activation of Tech Level 2, Justin’s old drum ‘n’ bass project which had been active for five years between 1999 and 2004, having released four 12″ releases and an equal number of compilation appearances “before Justin shelved the project in 2004 having become disenchanted with the scene.” Around the time the project folded, renowned producer Dillinja was “supporting and working on a release by Tech Level 2 for Valve/Beatz.” While that release was never finished, the first new EP is inspired precisely by “memories of the Valve club nights ran by Dillinja and Lemon D that justin attended often across the UK” around the time in which TL2 was originally active.
«Revolve» was released on May 22 by Avalanche Recordings and is available here on digital format in a pay what you want system.
On September, Justin returned with a new Final EP as part of the SIGE Records benefit series, whose September proceedings were donated to the National Bail Fund Network, The Federation Of Southern Cooperatives / Land Assistance Fund, the Pueblo Action Alliance, and the Loveland Therapy Fund for Black Girls and Women.
«You Couldn’t Mean Any Less» was released on September 4 through SIGE Records and is available here on digital format.
Finally, we get to the Jesu material. The last solo release from the project until 2020 dates back to 2013’s «Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came» (2016-17 saw the release of three collaborations, two with Sun Kill Moon and one with Dirk Serries). This year, the shoegaze project returned with the «Because Of You» single on June 23, which would turn out to be the opener of the «Never» EP, released just a few days later.
September then saw the release of «When I Was Small» single, once again the opener for something more, namely, the «Terminus» album, once again featuring former Godflesh drummer Ted Parsons as a guest in three tracks.
«Terminus» was released on November 13 through Avalanche Recordings on cd, digital, and vinyl formats. It is digitally available here.