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Baker's Dozen

Central To Process: Justin Broadrick's Favourite Albums
Kate Hennessy , October 16th, 2014 15:08

In a piece originally commissioned by The Bug's Kevin Martin, Justin Broadrick follows the release of Godflesh's new album A World Lit Only By Fire by taking a new spin on the Baker's Dozen format and talking Kate Hennessy through his current listening favourites


Hands - The Soul Is Quick
You can essentially group it with the other ambient stuff. The drones are central but there is the odd field recording with voices going on, and right at the back of it is a beat, which adds to the really weird disorientating aspect. It's a guy called The Field, on a label called Ecstatic, distributed by Kompakt, who deal in glitch sort of techno, very repetitive techno, with an odd emotional quality. If you imagine things like Stars Of The Lid, Basinski and artists like that, with a 4/4 beat with a bit of bass or glitch, but the same process: repetition, drones, quite archaic and timeless but with beats underneath it.

I'm obsessed with The Field and was led to Hands by him. This is quite different to his usual stuff but has that same emotional quality. I love of a lot of stuff in that area of techno - I read this term "heroin house", which is quite evocative of this timelessness, this druggy drawn-out slow motion house music that is worn at the edges, a sort of hazy, non-descript, illiterate version of house music. I found it with these artists from the early 90s in Germany called Basic Channel. They created a whole genre called dub techno, taking the testosterone out of techno and replacing with the beauty and slow motion of reggae, and it's an area I've been fascinated with for 20 years. A lot of music is derived from that now, like The Field and Hands too.

It ties in with a sense of nostalgia, and reminiscing. The Field's other music does address the dancefloor, but this record sounds like a post-rave thing. I was going to raves myself and doing too much E in the early 90s, I did nothing but E four or five times a week for two years and I loved every minute of it, but it fucking burnt me out. I did it pretty much nonstop from about '92 to '94, clubbing and raving, but I didn't do it again after that. I loved the comedown, just sitting in a room and smoking way too much pot and listening to ambient music and Krautrock, but back then there was very little that addressed that post-rave thing and if there was, it'd be very fluffy and polite and conservative, all these things that didn't "have it", apart from early Aphex Twin, which was the only contemporary thing that addressed that post-rave buzz in a satisfactorily druggy way. Eventually all this music arrived, like Hands, sort of post post-rave: melancholy and nostalgic and addressing an age that's gone and the innocence of rave culture. I remember having one too many Es and going into the club toilet to smoke spliffs and you would hear some fucked-up conversation going on over there, and some muffled beats from the club, and in your own head some drone you latched onto.