Jesu is the post-metal and shoegaze act fronted by influential English multi-instrumentalist Justin Broadrick. Born in 1969, Broadrick has amassed an astonishing collection of musical credits, placing him comfortably amongst the most versatile, prolific artists of the musical modern age. Scanning his catalog, he’s been involved with around 30 projects, some with upwards of 20 releases, and many being genre-defining forerunners such as grindcore act Napalm Death, his own industrial metal invention Godflesh, and my favourite of his works, Jesu. Fascinated with guitars and computer-generated music alike, Broadrick was one of the first to combine heavy, distorted metal influence with the metronomic, inanimate beats and noise overlays of electronics.
In the wake of the initial 2002 dissolution of Godflesh, Broadrick decided to pursue a more melodic outlet. Crafting dense, multilayered power electronics with simple non-intrusive beats and delay-soaked, crystal clear vocal pleas, he appropriates a marriage between elements of post-rock, shoegaze, industrial, ambient, noise, and post-metal. He harnesses the power of a Marshal stack and interweaves ethereal sonic scintillations delivered as a chugging juggernaut, with the resultant blend becoming an immersive, all-consuming sound that swallows you into repetition and hypnosis. A sky of black thunder cloud with howling wind and rays of sunshine piercing their way through the voids.
Signed to influential label Hydra Head Records run by Aaron Turner of Isis and Old Man Gloom, as well as his own Avalanche Records, Jesu maintains high standards of artistic direction, packaging, and special release remixes / reinterpretations, providing a remarkable array of material for his listeners. I’m still working my way through the stacks, but so far have yet to encounter something worth skipping. The particularly recommended releases pictured above are Jesu’s 2006 “Silver” EP and 2007 sophomore “Conqueror” LP. Also mentionable are a split EP with Eluvium collected as “Why Are We Not Perfect?” and “Conqueror” bonus 2-song release “Sun Down/Sun Rise”. In addition, Jesu has contributed a number of remixes for a few birds of his feather like Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Isis and Pelican (try “Angel Tears”: http://youtu.be/WwVcZWqIWRs).
Favourite track: Weightless and Horizontal (http://youtu.be/2eZMqx6knz4)… Lose yourself.