- Discwoman and Allergy Season's inspired charity compilation captures some of the most exciting sounds in electronic music right now.
- Physically Sick, a charity compilation series by Discwoman and Physical Therapy, released its first edition the day before Trump was inaugurated, and donated the proceeds to "charities who oppose the hateful policies" of his administration (The American Civil Liberties Union, Callen-Lorde, The National Immigration Law Center and Planned Parenthood). Back then, it would have been hard to imagine the dread of that moment being as completely eclipsed as it has been now, but here we are. Physically Sick 3 arrived at the beginning of July, four months into the pandemic and six weeks into daily protests following the murder of George Floyd by police. Proceeds for this one go to Equality For Flatbush, an organization fighting police brutality and gentrification in New York. "The world is sicker than ever," say the notes on Bandcamp. "But that doesn't mean we get to stop." Far from it. Physically Sick is their best collection yet, and, along with HAUS of ALTR's summer compilations, captures some of the freshest stuff happening in electronic music right now.
At 27 tracks, Physically Sick 3 is the shortest in the series (the other two had more than 40 each) but it still covers a fantastic variety of artists, scenes and sounds. The core producers represent a new school of club music, especially from North America, including Discwoman artists like UMFANG, SHYBOI and BEARCAT, as well as AceMo, MoMA Ready and DJ Swisha. Some artists are newcomers making their debut, like Pent, whose Sähkö-esque "intra7" is quietly one of the collection's best tracks. Others are old heads showing new sides of themselves, like Surgeon with the moody "A Prayer For Something Better," or DJ Bone with the dazzling, warp-speed electro of "E.T. Brother."
The compilation bangs in many different ways. Most of the tracks are over 140 BPM, a few are under 100. Only one falls in the standard house-and-techno 120 range: DJ Python's "7000," which sounds like a more faded take on DJ Gregory's "Attend 1." There is ambient (KMRU), noise (Dreamcrusher, Syanide), UKG (Davis Galvin), drum & bass (Savile), Baltimore club (SHYBOI), dreamy techno (Olive T) and something like IDM (Korea Town Acid). There are no-nonsense club destroyers like "Body + Mind," Anz's take on C'hantal's "The Realm." There are trippy wigglers from CCL, Physical Therapy and AYA (delivering, for my money, her best track yet with the slithering "a fflash gun for a ffiver"). The collection's anything-goes spirit might be best embodied by AceMo's "I Feel Like Dying (Phenomenon Mix)," a 145 BPM rave cut that also happens to be a remix of Lil Wayne.
Within all this unhinged creativity, we get the most potent example yet of what Discwoman and Allergy Season once described as "electronic protest music." The protest element is not limited to politics, charity donations, or the activism of the artists who appear here. It's also in the music itself, which, even at its most party-rocking, defies club music's conventions and challenges the staleness of its status quo. There's a kind of defiant optimism here, too: even with their last gigs months in the rearview and the world in a state of chaos most of us have never seen, these artists keep dishing out wild, inspired and generally just very dope music. Listening to Physically Sick 3 you get the feeling that, whatever happens to clubs, festivals and the music industry overall, the actual music will be fine.
01. Anz - Body + Mind
02. SHYBOI - Eat That
03. MoMA Ready - Portal Step
04. Dreamcrusher - Vitality
05. AceMo - I Feel Like Dying (Phenomenon Mix)
06. UMFANG - Angel Beat
07. CCL - Tachyon Frog
08. AYA - a fflash gun for a ffiver
09. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - Gravitational Pull
10. Savile - You Will Be A Maker Of A Better World
11. Pent - intra7
12. KMRU - Oloolua
13. Low Jack - Skin Riddim
14. OSSX - DON'T CARE, DIDN'T ASK
15. KIMIKO - Early Reflections
16. Davis Galvin - Erlo
17. DJ Bone - E.T. Brother
18. Physical Therapy - Pig
19. SYANIDE - RASH
20. BEARCAT - SHRILL
21. Special Request - Wallabies
22. Venetta - Black Paradox
23. Olive T - What Comes After
24. DJ SWISHA - Stardawg
25. Korea Town Acid - Body Clock
26. Surgeon - A Prayer For Something Better
27. DJ Python - 7000