When people start talking about adding guitars to electronic beats my eyes glaze over while I ponder the likes of Korn, Linkin Park and Marilyn Manson. However, on Posthuman JK Flesh (another alias of Godflesh/Jesu perpetrator Justin. K. Broderick) does a fine job of blending the darker realms of dance music with doom infused metal. Posthuman reminds me of my University years at the end of the nineties, when I spent every other weekend at a Drum n’ Bass party somewhere. In those days Drum n’ Bass was a dark beast far removed from the high-NRG, synthesised squall of today’s radio friendly acts like Pendulum. Back then the sound was menacing and evil, the beats were intricate and Dub’s ambience was a significant influence.
Posthuman flirts with Breaks, Drum n’ Bass and Burial-style Dubstep but the overall vibe isn’t up-tempo enough for the dance floor. Likewise metal traditionalists will also find themselves disappointed The tracks are structured like ‘dance’ numbers – intro, beat drop, break, beat drop, outro – but the atmosphere is of Doom and noise. Broderick rightly keeps the ‘riffs’ to a minimum. Instead he drags blackened clouds of feedback and discord out of his guitars, painting a suffocating atmosphere. This isn’t a pleasant listen, especially the handful of songs that feature his heavily processed vocals, which stab like jagged noise shrapnel.
When I picked up this album from Polyester Records (the Flinders Lane store has so much more variety than the original store) the Weirdo noise/Black Metal guy who works there said, “this is awesome, but it’s a little bit 1990’s”. He’s right, but that’s probably what appeals to me. Posthuman should probably feel claustrophobic and menacing but instead it fills me with a sense of nostalgia. It’s a head-on collision between my metal-headed tweens and hedonistic twenties.