TH BLISKS - "HOW SO?" LP
Remember Paris 1942; that time Mo Tucker did a record with Alan and Richard Bishop from Sun City Girls? And how like, you're at first immediately excited when you hear that it exists because how could that NOT rule? And then you get nervous because you remember all the collaborations that SHOULD have been amazing and actually suck, and you temper your expectations.
But then you actually gingerly drop the needle on Paris 1942 and you know what? It fucking rips. It's so good; it's exactly as good as that first burst of excitement, that pure unjaded optimistic potential rush. And it feels incredible, the world feels new again; maybe good things CAN exist.
Th Blisks is that but for freak Aus underground heads. Here we have Yuta Matsumura (of Oily Boys, Low Life, Orion) joining Amelia Besseny and Cooper Bowman of Troth (and like, line-em-up man, so many other things). On paper this should rule; it does.
You drop needle on Th Blisks and they're deep into ritual ambiance; vibes are immaculate obviously. This is already good. And then, slowly, the grooves emerge from the brush - so naturally it's almost imperceptible. And before you know it we're in bush shack trip-hop zone and the hooks are incredible.
The best thing about Th Blisks is it takes the pop that was always present in Troth and Yuta's work with Orion - that love of a good hook - and foregrounds it. Carves out a lil spot in the muck for an earworm and let's it lie in the sun, soaking up the attention.
Th Blisks feels like something people might sleep on - so far it seems to have coasted under the radar a little bit. Make no mistake - this is one of the most exciting records to come out of the Australian underground this year, and absolutely exceeds the sum of its parts.
How So?, the debut offering by Th Blisks, represents a blurring of three vastly different heads into a sole disjointed, but fluid, organism. The domes in attendance being Yuta Matsumura (Low Life / Oily Boys), Amelia Besseny (Troth / Impatiens) and Cooper Bowman (Tsap / Troth).
There was minimal chatter between us on first convening and, like most well-intentioned experiments, the results bear scarce resemblance to what little was said. Utilising a palette of vocal, melodica, deeply-pulled samples, guitar, drum machine, synths and various forms of percussion - Th Blisks use these tools to weave a lucid dreamworld all their own, where anybody is welcome to sit and wobble for a spell.
There is a post-punk ritual for peace, ‘A Salve’ (featuring what one astute listener described as ‘drunken piano’) moments of humid ambience like ‘Taipei Dubble’, a shadowy experimental in/excursion titled ‘I Don’t Fade’ and a slew of other-worldly trip-hop numbers that don’t obscure their hooks for the sake of carving new shapes.
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