Physical Therapy It Takes a Village: The Sounds of Physical Therapy
Published May 02, 2019The most consistent feature of Daniel Fisher's catalogue is his complete and utter lack of regard for commercial convention and circumstance. Whether working under his Physical Therapy alias or countless others he's released music through on his Allergy Season imprint, the New York producer has consistently defied listeners to keep up with a seemingly endless flow of new personas and dance innovations.
On his latest, Fisher doubles down on that strategy, doing what others might deem confounding, if not ill-advised, and releasing a compilation of work he's completed under various guises, ostensibly under the umbrella of his main project. Enter It Takes a Village: The Sounds of Physical Therapy.
Amongst tracks from new aliases and previously established projects, we get three from Physical Therapy proper, each one moving to a different set of traditions. Before it trips through a scrambled dimension, "Male Tears" coasts like a glistering track set to a house rhythm, while "Angel of the Morning" is a more focused meditation, accumulating energy around a repeated bass synth call. Finally, "Mischief Maker" throws a wrench in the gears with a drum and bass rhythm built around a repeated, reverb-drenched vocal sample declaring "Fuck you 'cause I don't make techno."
When this third offering kicks off the second disc, it's a standoffish gesture that feels manufactured to clear a room rather than start a new set, but Fisher saved some of the greater treasures for his lesser-known (or unknown) aliases here, so perhaps it's more of a fan-facing litmus test.
Jungle Jerry's "You Are Now Listening to the Quiet Storm" supplies dusty breakbeats and hazy synths perfect for a drive down a foggy country back road; a self-titled track from Green Buddha loops in a mysterious collaborator, A.G., for a wavy bass blowout; Buckaroo!'s "Hand Tool" races bad visions down a loopy techno highway; DJ Overnite's "My Medicine" burns one down to a monumental kick; Stefan Proper's "Known Travelr" sets everything spinning; and Car Culture's "CC #5" laps over you with a wash of bongos and ambient synth chords.
Fans will also appreciate new offerings from Fisher's Kirk the Flirt & Peter Pressure project, as well as his Fatherhood collaboration with Michael Magnan. The former takes a rapturous spin around a disco hall at peak party, while Fatherhood's "Ya Carryin'" strips classic house down to a sparser bass bin rumbler before stoking the vibe with hand drums and dubby horns; by the time it's done you'll be on the hunt for a a superior sound system to blast it through.
What's most impressive about this cubist overview is not the breadth of content on hand, but Fisher's consistent ability to lock into ideas and build new platforms out of them. This flattening of worlds just creates a place where they can all coexist, smudging and blurring together only the way Fisher could make them.
*Editor's note: An earlier version of this review misstated the lyrics on "Mischief Maker." Exclaim! regrets the error. (Allergy Season)