Do you remember Godflesh? I remember Godflesh.
I remember Pure. I still speak of it, without irony, as an album that changed my life. I remember the relentless grinding of the first self-titled album, the utter despondency of Streetcleaner, the uneasy paranoia of Slavestate, and the ups and downs of the rest of the catalog. I also remember grabbing every other project I could find that had Godflesh frontman Justin Broadrick credited somewhere on the jacket: Final, Jesu, Techno Animal, God, all of it.Broadrick eventually killed Godflesh and replaced it with Jesu, but the side projects continued to roll along.
Enter Greymachine, which is worth getting excited about due to the presence of a few other people of note: Aaron Turner, of Isis (another metalloid band that someone else once described as “a happier Godflesh”); Diarmuid Dalton, of ‘Flesh and Jesu and Final, as well as the underrated Cable Regime; and Dave Cochrane, most notably of the also-underappreciated Head of David (where Broadrick served as drummer for a time). The end result is a filthy mess of twisted wreckage that brings to mind everything from Broadrick’s early outfit Fall of Because — they existed in parallel with Napalm Death, where Broadrick also briefly appeared, and that alone should tell you what level of ferocity is at play here. Read more
One way you can tell casual listeners from self-appointed Music Fans: they have weird senses of organization. They are incapable of just filing things alphabetically. For a long time I thought I was the only person on the face of the globe who lined up his CD collection by influence / shared personnel, starting with Swans at one end of the shelf and running through Foetus, Coil, Neubauten, FM Einheit and Caspar Brötzmann and the like before finally ending (collapsing, spent, exhausted, panting) at John Zorn and Naked City. If there’s anything that goes on the shelf after Zorn, I’m not sure I want to hear it without something stiff to drink first.
Then I ran into a fellow music nut with a collection that was organized by label, and I thought: why the heck not? The best record labels, from Stax and Motown and early Atlantic all the way on down to indies like 4AD to cracks in the wall like PSF and Public Bath, are driven by the tastes and selectivity of their owners. You hear what they like to hear. Browse by stable- and label-mates, and you find treasure you might otherwise never blunder across (Last Visible Dog) — or you simply end up wondering how tough it really is to sleaze a recording contract out of some people (Vinyl Communications). Read more