When a band forms in 1988 and releases their first album in 2023, there are certain questions that run through your head. Why was there never music released in their original 10 year run from 88 to 98? Why did they finally release the album they finished back then in 2023? And, what led them to reform in 2020 and begin making new music? There are clearly a lot of stories and there must be some truly interesting history to be told.

Today, we’re here to briefly explore that history and look at their recently released collections of tracks from 1988-1998 and 2020-2022, named Throbbing Flip Out and Viral Apocalypse, respectively.

We begin in 1988, a promising Belgian band was on the cutting edge of the industrial scene with a sound described as “Nina Haagen-meets-Throbbing Gristle” and the metallic version of 1940s “musique concrete”, founder Bob Coecke obsessively combined his love for the emerging computer sciences and music to help pioneer a sound that he and his bandmates never were quite able to lock down on recording in their first run. By the time they completed something they felt really represented them, their first run ended because Bob was head deep in the world of quantum computing.

This music writer and computer nerd would generally do his best to describe some of the computer nerdery Bob was involved in, but in the world of quantum computing, he has literally no idea. Thankfully, the band’s bio does the work for us…

Coecke is more well-known for his work in quantum computing, a cutting-edge technology that harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems too complex for normal computers.

While the album never originally got released, it was still here and ready for release when Bob and his bassist Bruce Warner were able to get back together and begin working on new tunes. And thankfully, we now get to enjoy Throbbing Flip Out in full instead of it being a great piece of art that was lost to time.

The sound of this first 7 track release feels like the type of music that would likely have greatly influenced the likes of KMFDM, some of Ministry’s catalog, and other industrial acts of the 90s and 2000s. The broody opener “E-Lips” and the danceable “Nightride” are among the standouts.

The 2020-2022 collection entitled Viral Apocalypse picks up right where Throbbing leaves off. While even more metal tinged than the first album, it still has a similar vibe and sound. Some more metallic elements aren’t the only thing they added for the second release, but Bob brought aboard his daughter (pictured below) for vocal samples on a few of the tracks. While I think this fan really likes her additions to “Squishy” most, she is also featured on the great standout track “Musique Concrete” and several others.

Check out more from Black Tish on their Bandcamp or Spotify now.

Justin has been running websites since his first Geocities site in 1994, but only did he ever start covering anything of substance years later. After he stopped regularly running local concerts in Northern NJ and the greater Philly area, he knew he needed to step up his writing game if he expected to continue to get free music to listen to. He writes regularly here and at Cinapse, as well as contributing to a few other sites on occasion. He likes music, film, the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers, talking about Criminal Justice, reading Intelligence Report, and his family... not in that order. His beautiful wife is far more talented than he is and his kids far more adorable... and crazy.
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