- It's clear that Jealous God, the label founded by Silent Servant, Regis and James Ruskin, is seeking a unique identity. It launched last year with a rather grandiose mission statement: "We are not here to advocate religion but rather to advocate visual symbolism… to question what is the here and now… reinterpret themes in our own image." The first couple of releases were promising, if slightly predictable. Sicario De Dios by Silent Servant and Svreca (as S/SS) was a pair of rugged techno tracks and two shorter drone pieces packaged with a spectacular mix CD. James Ruskin's Jealous God 02 was stark, bracing techno. The Romantic artwork and manifesto felt out of proportion to records that were largely DJ tools—hard-hitting and expertly produced tools, but functional nevertheless. But with the third and fourth releases by Silent Servant and Oliver Ho (debuting his new Broken English Club alias), a distinct aesthetic looms into view.
On Silent Servant's "Lust Abandon," a vivid synth melody rises and descends, converging with a meaty kick drum pattern into a thrilling groove. Muffled vocals, pads and sticky feedback dot the track, the effect equally sinister and euphoric. Powell's "reconstruction" is aptly named, as it's effectively a new track. As with so much of his Suicide-inspired music, the remix strikes the right balance between muscular funkiness and mangled distortion. In Powell's hands, the central synth of the original becomes a shimmery flourish, while walls of feedback and decaying drums swell and subside, allowing the raw bassline to take centre stage.
As Broken English Club, Oliver Ho shares Powell's obsession with post-punk and no wave. On "A Square Shaped Room," Jealous God 04's opening track, the mood is foreboding rather than funky, as sombre guitar lines, scattered drums and dark ambience stretch in all directions. On "Casual Sex" and "Boxes," Ho's deadpan spoken vocal is an apt complement to the hulking grooves. "Birth Control" sounds precision-tooled, its thundering bass and deft percussion forming neatly with Ho's monotone delivery. A void gapes beneath the surface of both EPs, giving tangible form to the label's identify.
A Silent Servant - Lust Abandon
B Silent Servant - Lust Abandon (Powell Reconstruction)
A1 Broken English Club - A Square Shaped Room
A2 Broken English Club - Boxes
A3 Broken English Club - Birth Control
B1 Broken English Club - Casual Sex
B2 Broken English Club - Plastic Bag