Review: Downwards boss Regis surely does keep us on our toes still after all these years. After laying low for a while, he has got the label back in full swing after unleashing a monster EP by Simon Shreeve. This time he now presents new material by maverick producer and UK legend Justin Broderick under the JK Flesh moniker. The brooding grindcore dub of "Nothing Is Free" will be right up any Downwards loyalists alley, as will the snarling audio assault of "Kontorted" which slithers around walls of hiss, feedback and guttural low end brutalism. Surgeon's remix of "Nothing Is Free" blows the doors off in pretty spectacular fashion as always, exploiting the raw voltage of his famed modular setup brilliantly.
Review: Justin Broadrick once declared that the JK Flesh pseudonym was reserved for the 'angry, hateful, disenchanted side of what I do', and it sounds like he has unleashed a lot of these dark feelings on Rise Above. However, instead of creating a one-dimensional gloom fest, Broadrick has turned his hate into something constructive. The album's opening salvo, which includes "Tunnel", "Defector" and "Swarm", feels like the musical equivalent of being dragged backwards through a swamp by a giant snake, while "Conquered" and "Trinity" see him bash out primal mid-paced rhythms. On the title track, he combines these two elements to create a shit-kicking, bone-crushing rhythm that proves once used constructively, anger is indeed an energy.
Le Syndicat - "Maximalist" (Ekman remix) - (6:05) 136 BPM
Review: Continuing their uncompromising fusions of artists new and old, Contort Yourself return with a punishing array of industrial thuggery from hardware manipulators you wouldn't take home to your mother. Novacom were last seen on Slumdiscs back in 2014 and here bring a fast and gnarly rhythmic tryst to bear before JK Flesh do their own snagging dance with oppressive synths and drums twirling into a heavyweight whole. French brutalists Le Syndicat is coming up with their confrontational bastardisation of techno and industrial, making the perfect source material for Ekman to get nasty with on his remix of "Maximalist".
Review: American industrial scene stalwart Dominick Fernow makes a somewhat surprising addition to Berlin institution Berghain's mix series on its ninth instalment. Under the Vatican Shadow moniker, he has increasingly flirted with techno, performing regularly at the Berlin institution as a DJ and with his intense live show. Of the mix, Fernow - who is otherwise known for work under many other aliases such as Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement or Exploring Jezebel among others - has stated that his interest in DJing developed out of industrial music traditions such as mail art, tape trading, and sound collage. This sonic 'cut up' of electronic edits bridges the gap between several generations of electronic music subculture, taking in early UK industrial (Genesis Breyer P-Orridge), Japanese noise (Merzbow) and the very NYC underground that he came up in with contemporaries such as Virile Games and Kris Lapke (aka Alberich) also featured.