The The: entrancing, disorienting, hypnotic

The The: entrancing, disorienting, hypnotic

The The is a musical project created by Matt Johnson over forty years ago. A group that has not produced a large number of albums, the last album (leaving aside the soundtracks which have represented the only recordings for almost a quarter of a century) actually dates back to February 29, 2000, “Nakedself”. In the lines below you will find our review.

Seven years. This is what has passed since “Dusk”, from the latest album by Matt Johnson, in fact the leader and mind of The The, one of the few groups that emerged in the 80s who, as outsiders of that period, emerged unscathed from the the passage of time and, above all, from the corrosive aura of unbridled hedonism and vapidity of the 80s. This is nothing new for an artist accustomed to having several years pass between one recording and another (“Dusk” was released four years after “Mind bomb”), but this time it’s really impressive to see him among us again.

And the effect is multiplied a hundredfold when you listen to “Nakedself”, a record that amazes even more in its beauty, as an album that differs not much from Matt Johnson’s productions in the 80s, confirming how The The was a project far-sighted, ahead of time.

Just listen to the opening track of this pleasant album – surprise (“Boilingpoint”) to understand how much The The have anticipated, with their narcoleptic gait, with that sick blues sent on loop, with that strong sense for hypnosis, that abstract blues, that “subterranean blues” that was talked about a few years ago and, in certain cases (see South, the latest discovery by Mo’Wax), precisely because of its foresight, are paradoxically the first on the list in a rediscovery of dirty folk atmospheres in a scene (the English one) which today rejects any form of digitalisation by resorting to dirty sounds and folk atmospheres.

Here then, beyond the years that have passed, Matt, faithful to the line, offers us an album that does not differ one iota from the contents of the past: psychedelia and blues, circular repetitiveness and dark, paranoid atmospheres are still an integral part of the sound texture of The The. Furthermore, Matt seems to have assimilated the teachings of the latest generations quite well, especially in terms of rhythms. Yes, because the 12 pieces of “Nakedself” are often supported by a slow pace that brings us back to dub, trip hop, hip hop. The result? Entrancing, disorienting, hypnotic like the effect of a microtip well soaked in LSD.