v/a: Physically Sick 3 (Discwoman/Allergy Season, 2020)

July 16, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

v/a: Physically Sick 3

At this point, Discwoman and Allergy Season’s Physically Sick compilation series is an institution within the underground club music world. They all feature exclusive tracks by dozens of artists shaping the scene, and they’re all vital reactions to the state of the world, while giving back to those in need. Proceeds from the newly released third volume go to Equality For Flatbush, which has been fighting racist police abuse and gentrification since 2013, and has been supplying Brooklyn residents with groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the other volumes of the series, the tracks here provide a good mixture of innovation as well as nods to the legacy of club culture, which can be especially poignant now since clubbing is quickly turning into a distant memory and none of us know when or if we’ll ever be able to do it again. Kicking the compilation off is a track by Anz (a recent breakout star thanks to her absurdly good Invitation 2 Dance EP and a new 84-minute mix of original productions) which uses the deathless vocal from C’hantal’s “The Realm” (although it seems to still be a mystery who exactly the vocalist is and whatever happened to her). Also in familiar sample flipping mode, the mighty AceMo takes the sample best known from Lil Wayne’s “I Feel Like Dying” (originally from the 2003 song “Once” by Karma-Ann Swanepoel) and turns it into a darkside rave nightmare straight out of the mid-’90s. More playful are tracks like SHYBOI’s cheeky banger “Eat That” and MoMA Ready’s intricate, sorta post-dubstep (remember that?) “Portal Step”. Providing diversions from club rhythms are a few experimental tracks, including a typically soul-searing noise piece by Dreamcrusher, an abrasive fuzz convulsion from SYANIDE, and a glowing levitation from KMRU. CCL and AYA both elevate the pace from trippy moonwalk electro to something closer to drum’n’bass, and Savile also uses the more atmospheric end of d’n’b as a launch pad for a brighter future. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lower applies his modular synth wizardry to pulsating, forest-vibes techno. BEARCAT’s “SHRILL” is a skeletal alien dancehall riddim which sounds like it was made from the drum sounds of a Casio-grade keyboard, yet it bangs harder than a lot of high-definition electronics. Special Request’s “Wallabies” goes as hard as any of his recent club detonators, no surprise there. Olive T’s “What Comes After” is perhaps the most overtly political track here, with a monologue sample asking how this revolution is going to be sustained, over lush beats and electrifying guitars. DJ SWISHA (who mastered the comp) provides some paranoid sci-fi juke. Korea Town Acid’s “Body Clock” is one of the comp’s most pleasant surprises, building some twisted elastic rhythms and playful samples, and then setting it all into a chiptune-jungle frenzy. After a serious but hopeful midtempo track from Surgeon, DJ Python smooths everything out, although this is closer to his house side than the deep reggaeton he’s become known for.

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