Th Blisks – Elixa
Th Blisks – Elixa

Th Blisks – Elixa

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Label:    Efficient Space – ES037
Format:     Vinyl, LP, Album
Country:    Australia
Released:    21 Jun 2024
Genre:    Electronic, Rock
Style:    Post-Punk, Ambient

Faded mutant dub / breaks / pop(?) hybrids fresh from down-under from Aussie DIY lifers Troth + Yuta Matsumura as Th Blisks.

Now the second time these artists have combined, Th Blisks is a mongrel of styles routed in the 90’s but shot through a prism of the present day.  It’s underpinned by syrupy break beats, drifting melodica riffs and a sorta wide-screen pingers-induced melancholy that feels heavily rooted in UK sound system culture.  Yuta Matsumura provided one THE great underground records of the past few years with Red Ribbon on Low Company and he leaves smears of fingerprints all over here.  Those almost-pop hooks that catch you from nowhere, the smelting of disparate genres and strange sun-bleached sadness that keeps you locked in.  Stitched together across three disparate locations, the process reflects the stylistic hotpotch that it is.  But it manages to draw on the past whilst projecting into the present - indebted to the likes of Naffi Sandwich, Bowery Electric, Vincent Over The Sink, Flaming Tunes (obvs!!), Augustus Pablo, Beequeen (we could go on), despite feeling very much right at the forefront of the fecund antipodean DIY scene.  One that hits deeper each time around.  (Mint / New)

 (Mint / New)

Efficient Space welcomes Th Blisks to the fold with their mutant strain of melodica dub, torched hip hop breaks, post-punk and procession song.

Th Blisks' members have many notches on their collective belt. Amelia Besseny and Altered States Tapes’ founder Cooper Bowman are prolific in their ritualistic ambient-pop duo Troth, while Yuta Matsumura holds a formidable Sydney punk band pedigree on top of his Low Company-backed solo work. A reward for those who took the time to dig it out, Th Blisks’ 2022 debut How So? was a DIY creation that fully embraced its outsider roots, revelling in opportunities for connection through pop flourishes. Feeling like it might have been a one-off, we proclaim their return with Elixa.

With an unseen clarity of vision, Elixa conjures its meticulously fleshed out world. Those familiar pieces are all there - the mystery, the patience, a cheeky pop hook - however this time there's an intentionality to it all. A blurred dialogue stretching across Australia, it was largely recorded remotely with tracks bouncing between Bowman and Besseny in Muloobinba (Newcastle) and Nipaluna (Hobart), and Matsumura stationed in Warumpi (Papunya). Every element is carefully considered, stemming from their individual time spent as lifers in the local DIY scenes. Through these tracks you can feel that history; echoes of Castings and Vincent Over The Sink in ‘Do You Bless It?’, Bowman's distinctive submerged tape loops gurgling away under boom bap and *that* Sydney guitar tone in ‘Esk’.

Elixa attempts to bottle some pinged-eye wonder at the magic surrounding, whether in the city or the bush. Informed by the old but drug into The New, it is a begrudgingly current Australien record that respectively nods at the UK’s sound history. 

A1        Enchancity
A2        Do You Bless It?
A3        No Know
A4        Elixa
B1        Knuckledust
B2        Esk
B3        Umbrah
B4        E v E