- Physical Therapy's Allergy Season label returns with a hefty EP from Draveng, a relatively unknown LA producer who shares his label boss's taste for wacky ideas. "The Dubious Smink" is mischief incarnate, a madcap track with inexhaustible energy built on a foundation as thin as chiffon. The hissy snares blur into mush, leaving the rapidfire vocal mumbles to become the focal point, like throat singing turned into gabber. The effect is as annoying as it is brilliant, placing "Dubious Smink" somewhere between a gimmick and a banger.
The rubbery techno groove of "No Flex Fit," with its ethereal three-chord flourish, is soothing after the relentless assault of "Dubious Smink." The flipside is dedicated to two versions of "For Thin Soles." The original is an ambient feint, floating serenely for three minutes before breaking into a determined sprint, squeezing out a synth lead that sounds like a fork on a chalkboard. J Tijn's remix smashes all the ambience out as if he were tenderizing a tough piece of steak, leaving behind a pulverized throbber with frayed edges—it's not a revelatory rework, but it makes a strong, club-ready addition to an EP that might otherwise scare away less adventurous DJs.
Two digital-only bonus tracks shed further light on the world of the Smink. "Smink's Rusty Tool" sounds like a mash-up of the original and "For Thin Soles" with an additional distorted underbelly. Offering a real kick in the ass, "Smink's Anthem" gives it a sexy swing and some ethereal chords to pad the unnerving silences between vocal grunts. Both reworks are arguably better than the original, and I'm still hard pressed to say whether I actually enjoy "The Dubious Smink" or just admire its irreverence. But one thing's for sure: Physical Therapy has found someone whose musical mind is as warped as his own.
A1 Dubious Smink
A2 No Flex Fit
B1 For Thin Soles
B2 For Thin Soles (J. Tijn Remix)
Digital: Smink's Rusty Tool
Digital: Smink's Anthem