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Black Tish - Throbbing Flip Out (Blindsight Records)

15 October 2023

It’s difficult to say whether Black Tish’s new album Throbbing Flip Out is actually new at all, because it’s taken the band over thirty years to release their earliest recordings. The band formed in Belgium in 1988 closer toward the beginnings of commercial Industrial music, but only now are they releasing their debut album, first recorded back in 1998. 25 years later, the album is finally seeing the light of day, alongside a brand new album titled Viral Apocalpyse. This review will focus on Throbbing Flip Out, but their new new album is definitely worth checking out as well and highly recommended listening for fans of all industrial music.

Like any work from around the first flourishing of Industrial music, Throbbing Flip Out is a challenging but deeply rewarding listen. Built around samples, programmed synths, and a relentless barrage of dissonant guitars, songs like “E-Lips” and “Nightride” bridge the gap between the pure experimental nature of bands like Throbbing Gristle and Einstürzende Neubauten and the (comparatively) more radio accessible Ministry or Nine Inch Nails. Other songs like “Gas” and “B-12-Digest” are more like menacingly ambient set pieces or interludes that unnerve and disorient the listener. It’s impossible to guess the impact this would have had in 1998, but Throbbing Flip Out feels like a crucial missing link in the genre’s evolution that should be a vital addition to any aficionado’s collection.