Goth-Trad / JK Flesh - Knights Of The Black Table

  • Intense slo-mo techno.
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  • "Below 100 BPM slow motion industrial dread techno only!" This was the text that came with the announcement of Justin Broadrick's split release with the Japanese producer Goth-Trad. Slow instrumentals seem to be Broadrick's latest obsession, after he perfected JK Flesh's fast-and-hard style of dance floor techno on last year's New Horizon. On Knights Of The Black Table, Broadrick presents a new paradigm for JK Flesh, one where space and slowness combine to create intense pressure. Broadrick's contributions are dense and noxious. On "Armour Of Faith," grisly textures rub against lumbering drum patterns that feel almost disorientingly slow. "Fearless Knight" is the best of this approach. It feels like it's been drugged into a stupor, as synths and melodies swirl around its churning centre. "Empty Victory," on the other hand, is sinuous and slinky, but it's also weighed down by a gurgling layer of sludge that might have gotten lost in a faster techno track. Imagine Andy Stott's Passed Me By reinterpreted by a metal musician. Goth-Trad is associated with a staggered style of dubstep that fits in with Broadrick's sluggish tracks, but the Japanese producer also adjusts his style. Here, it resembles halftime drum & bass. His approach contrasts with Broadrick's. "Bloody Dice" is more spacious and swung, and the waves of noise wash over it like with a rhythm that's more intuitive than aggressive. "Gray Fire" is like an immense lava flow, while "Sword Dance" sneaks in orchestral flourishes between its marching drums, somewhere between the dungeon level of an old Japanese RPG and a tense scene in a Hollywood thriller. This sound isn't totally new. As part of Godflesh and Techno Animal, Broadrick has long imbued slow rhythms with texture and tension, while Goth Trad showed how staggered dubstep beats could be explosive. (That's not to mention other, older metal-adjacent projects like Scorn.) But this particular style feels different from other DJs and artists working in the sub-110 BPM realm, who often traffic in disco, house music or post-punk. Instead, Goth-Trad and Broadrick show that techno at low speeds can be every bit as overwhelming as the faster BPM stuff.
  • Tracklist
      01. Goth Trad - Bloody Dice 02. Goth Trad - Nerve Agent 03. Goth Trad - Gray Fire 04. Goth Trad - Sword Dance 05. JK Flesh - Warhorse 06. JK Flesh - Armour Of Faith 07. JK Flesh - Fearless Knight 08. JK Flesh - Empty Victory