This Week’s Best Albums: December 11, 2012

This Week's Best Albums: December 11, 2012

Each week, editor-in-chief Chris Force and music editor Scott Morrow choose ALARM’s favorite new releases for This Week’s Best Albums, an eclectic set of reviews presenting exceptional music.

JK Flesh / Prurient: Worship is the Cleansing of the Imagination (Hydra Head)

JK Flesh: "Fear of Fear"

Justin K. Broadrick needs another project/alias like Wilt Chamberlain needs another conquest. Nonetheless, the man behind Godflesh, Jesu, Final, Pale Sketcher, Techno Animal, and much more has resurfaced as JK Flesh, a new electronic project that deals in industrial sounds, drum-and-bass beats, and dark ambience.

Following a full-length debut earlier this year, Broadrick has contributed three tracks towards this split LP with Dominick Fenrow, whose Prurient moniker shifts from noise and abrasiveness to more melodic, synth-driven pieces. Fenrow's three pieces fall in the camp of the former, with swaths of fuzz, radio signals, and overheated electronics creating a noise trance. Prurient's second track has a steady thump, and the closer, "I Understand You," has a long, detached melody, but the material is a world removed from his work with Cold Cave.

Sadly, Worship is the Cleansing of the Imagination is the final new release from Hydra Head Records. It's a fitting release for a label that never stopped taking risks. Continue buying their stuff so they can keep the back catalog in print!

- Scott Morrow

DJ Nu-Mark: Broken Sunlight (Hot Plate)

"Dumpin' 'Em All" (f. Bumpy Knuckles)

Following the demise of Jurassic 5 as well as a long-term relationship, DJ Nu-Mark — half of the famed hip-hop group's production team with Cut Chemist — took a break from music. Broken Sunlight marks his return in a major way, covering tons of musical ground and featuring a small army of collaborators.

Nu-Mark's new material has been unveiled piece by piece, as a series of 10-inch records, over the past eight months, but it doesn't feel segmented or awkward when assembled for this 13-track collection. (The only real outlier is "Oya Indebure," a retro Afro-Brazilian jam featuring percussionist Laudir de Oliveira.) There are bits of other world flavors — "Tropicalifornia" (featuring Quantic) has a blend of Caribbean, Latin, and funk — but in all, Broken Sunlight falls under modern, soulful hip hop that leans on a range of samples and Nu-Mark's DJ skills.

The album includes guest raps and vocals by Large Professor, Bumpy Knuckles, Aloe Blacc, Charles Bradley, J-Live, Tiron, and more. But with this collection, just as Cut Chemist has done before him, Nu-Mark has stepped out of the J5 shadow and into his own (sun)light.

- Scott Morrow

Honorable Mentions:

Big Boi: Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (Def Jam / Purple Ribbon)

Bot’ox: Basement Love single (I’m a Cliché)