Justin Broadrick Revisits ‘the Ghost of Godflesh’ on Jesu Reissues
After Justin Broadrick ended the industrial powerhouse Godflesh in 2002, he birthed Jesu, a collision of haunted beauty and dissonance channeled through fuzzed tones and electronic backbones. Jesu’s debut, ‘Heart Ache,’ hit shelves in 2004, but is now getting the reissue treatment coupled with the long demanded but never-before-released ‘Dethroned’ EP.
“[‘Dethroned’] sat on the back burner for some time, awaiting to be coupled with an appropriate release,” Justin Broadrick told Noisecreep while discussing why it’s taken so long to get ‘Dethroned’ an official release. “A reissue of ‘Heart Ache’ felt the most right; the recordings are culled from the same period. A lot of time had passed since this EP was recorded, so I didn’t wish for it to be a stand alone release; that wouldn’t have seemed appropriate.”
For most, returning to seven-year-old work would bring a temptation to rebuild. As Broadrick explained, though, his goal was to keep that grittier era of the band pure. “I really wished to keep the original ‘vibe’ of these songs intact. I actually did very little, besides the vocals and a couple of new overdubs, chiefly a keyboard or guitar line, nothing major,” he admitted. “Nor did I want to change the original production of these songs.
“Both ‘Heart Ache’ and ‘Dethroned,’ for me, contain a huge amount of Godflesh to some extent, it’s that period when the ghost of Godflesh still somewhat influenced the Jesu sound and songwriting … on the contrary, possibly, that mixing this stuff reminded me that this material is the Jesu of old. It’s become bolder since.”
There’s no doubt about the growth of Jesu over the years, especially when you examine the more guitar-defined ‘Opiate Sun’ that came out last year. Broadrick recently decided to take the electronic beats out of Jesu, leaving them for his Pale Sketches project, but he assured that the forthcoming full-length will be vastly dynamic and “full of strong melodies and songs, hooks even, but of course all low tuned and heavy, with lots of keyboard flourishes and ambitious vocals … but it’s not ‘Opiate Sun,’ for sure. That was a ‘bare bones’ record, by design.”