If Justin K. Broadrick’s Jesu project is the sound of the UK artist exorcising his demons, pummeling them into submission with tsunamis of guitar noise, Pale Sketcher is the sound that echoes through his head in the aftermath—a haunting, lonely sound-world of distressed beats and hazy melancholia. Broadrick’s electronic-music projects have historically taken a bit of a back seat to his more well-known metal excursions (his founding roles in Godflesh and Napalm Death, his long-running shoegaze-metal project Jesu), but with Jesu: Pale Sketches Demixed Broadrick brings Pale Sketcher into the spotlight, adding a new layer to the prolific artist’s already-dense body of work.
Jesu: Pale Sketches Demixed consists of songs originally released on the 2007 Jesu album Pale Sketches—a collection of electronics-oriented Jesu songs that didn’t quite fit on a conventional release. On Demixed, Broadrick revisits these Jesu misfits and plunges them deeper into the abyss, de- and re-constructing them into lumbering, beat-driven synthesizer symphonies. Album opener “Don’t Dream It (Mirage Mix)” pairs twinkling piano keys with a foreboding swath of synthesized drone, juxtaposing the ugly and the beautiful in a way that evokes the mood—if not necessarily the sound—of Jesu. “Supple Hope” brings Broadrick’s vocals into the mix, adding a human element to the stuttering beat as smoky sibilants hiss around the periphery. Standout “Dummy (Banhoff Version)” breaks form with its lightly sweetened nostalgia, buzzing and humming like late-summer fireflies over a lugubrious breakbeat. Closer “Plans That Fade (Faded Dub)” evokes its title to a T, all echo-y tendrils, reverberating rimshots, and translucent vocal sounds that melt into the air like smoke.
On Jesu: Pale Sketches Demixed, Broadrick displays a delicate touch with musical moods, crafting dark, sweet hymns that alternately soothe and unsettle. The crunch of rusty industrial machinery, the murmur of a summer wind—these are Justin K. Broadrick’s Pale Sketches.
NOTE: The Vinyl version is limited to 500 and includes the CD version of the album.
A little background, for the uninitiated: For fans of heavy music—and several of its variously punishing/ terrifying and sad/ethereal permutations—Justin K. Broadrick is a household na...check out Pale Sketcher's page and other releases