While some albums come to fruition in a matter of mere hours, like a creative flurry, others may need years, or even decades to marinate. In the latter case, in the case of tactful precision, the wait can certainly be worth it — as it is with Throbbing Flip Out, the first album from Black Tish. The project’s Brussels-based 1988 formation saw a compelling sound arise, intertwining post-metal and industrial electronica with “concrète-style” loop infusions. They have since been referred to as pioneers of industrial music.
Founder and producer Bob Coecke, alongside his band members (Axel Claeys, Ronny Damoiseau and Tim Trenson), spent about a decade to hone Throbbing Flip Out. Afterward, Coecke moved to Oxford, England and eventually become a dominant force in the field of quantum computing. Now, in 2023, the project has brought Throbbing Flip Outto the light of day — along with a brand new album, Viral Apocalypse.
Starting with the debut, Throbbing Flip Out is a thrilling listening experience. Opener “E-Lips” interweaves ominous, soaring guitar layers into blistering waves of distortion; the soundscape is delectably unsettling. The whirring momentum of “Gas” ensues, concocting a nostalgic industrial character in its nocturnal spaciousness. “Endfull” is another standout, resembling guitar tones interacting amongst one another, as corresponding percussion and eerie sampling also takes hold. It’s easy to hear why the project’s early sounds were so influential in the industrial scene.
The release of Viral Apocalypse is certainly a treat as well, impressing from the murky grumbling of “New Song 2020” to the striking “SquishySquishy,” which excels in its tonal contrast between raucous guitars and higher-pitched whimpering effects. These two albums firmly showcase the undeniable impact of Black Tish on industrial music and left-field musical pursuits in general.
“SquishySquishy” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of November 2023’ Spotify playlist.