Review: Various Artists – Physically Sick 3
National Music Reviews
Physically Sick 3
Physically Sick 3 = (I Hate Models + D. Tiffany + Oli XL) x Against All Logic (2017 – 2019)
“Ok yes … the world is sicker than ever, but that doesn’t mean we get to stop,” says curators Discwoman and Allergy Season, regarding their third compilation, Physically Sick 3. Run by Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, UMFANG and Physical Therapy, the comp is a means to vocalize and show support to Equality For Flatbush, an organization that illuminates systematic gentrification, police brutality and inequality in its namesake neighborhood. Naturally, all the proceeds from Physically Sick 3 go out to Equality For Flatbush.
To be frank, I haven’t really had a knack for compilations until now. The album is an elaborate range of hellish electronic music, and the precision is just as excellent as the cause. Of course, I can’t attempt to dissect all 27 tracks, so I cherry-picked a handful that show the mouthful of techno and electronica Physically Sick 3 has to offer.
As mentioned, there’s so much goodness in this well-made, two-hour long creation. Physically Sick 3 begins with Anz’s hyphy dance track “Body + Mind,” and continues into SHYBOI’s “Eat That.” There’s a strong consistency that you normally get in house music—hard beats, quick tempo, broad brushstrokes of bass—but there’s nothing kosher about the two erratic tracks. Subsequently, Dreamcrusher’s “Vitality” totally takes a U-turn with its somber, droning pace. Meticulous and ghostly, an ominous tone of increasing distortion emerges as the song digs deeper. CCL’s “Tachyon Frog” feels vibrant and ruthless, as is the case with AYA’s “a fflash gun for a ffiver.” Although, AYA’s is a bit more perplexing by having the sudden switches in drones and echoing backbeats, like trickery in a song.
Moreover, “intra7” by Pent is one of my favorites, simultaneously being intense and entrancing. The unearthly, acerbic strains almost mimic an idiosyncratic version of Animal Collective’s “Whaddit I Done” from Sung Tongs, with its distant voice sounding out each word and syllable. In the next track, “Oloolua” by KMRU, there’s a bit of alienation to boot. The dissolving tune, however, puts you at ease, as if you’re drifting out to sea with a light breeze tagging along.
Further into the compilatthankssion, Davis Galvin’s “Erlo” brings notes of psychedelia and a drapery bump sequence. Its tropical, metaphysical garden of looming beats carries clean transitions, similar to Physical Therapy’s “Pig.” Likewise, another memorable and favorite track of mine is “Wallabies” by Special Request. You get a great big slew of polyrhythmic synth sounds with a repetitive pulse comparable to jumping on a pogo stick. Or, taking a shot of hard, illicit whiskey. (Yeah, there’s nothing light about it.) Finally, the album comes to a close with the surrealistic “7000” by DJ Python. The mild, Latin-indebted rhythms and gravely drums solidify the variety of contributors in this neatly packed album, while also sending off a sense of hope.
Electronic music is such a mystery—you can’t examine it too precisely. Nonetheless, saying something along the lines of, “Yeah, this beat fucking slaps!” only goes so far. But maybe there’s nothing mysterious at all. Someone once told me that you hear what you remember and not necessarily what’s in your ears. So, I ask you to try a swig of Physically Sick 3! Think about your accountability! Email a friend! Sit with your thoughts! Support support support! God knows we need it. –Kassidy Waddell