Various Artists ‘Get Physical 8: Mixed by Thomas Schumacher’

Various Artists / ‘Get Physical 8: Mixed by Thomas Schumacher’


Get Physical / Released October 29th

In many ways the Physical camp have never been more prominent, what with Booka Shade’s sell out tours and M.A.N.D.Y.’s continual presence on international lineups. Though it has to be said, its prominence on the UK scene has waned in recent years. For proof, you only need look at the forthcoming tour in celebration of this release, which sees Mr Schumacher touch down in European cities from Budapest to Lisbon, with a distinct lack of any British dates, be it Birmingham or London.

So, with a sigh of relief, it’s good to be able to say that this celebratory album in honour of the label’s eighth birthday represents everything that is, and was, great about it. A bass-heavy, dirty, half-jacking yet half-smooth collection of 19 tracks, there’s clearly one foot in a retrospective underground, and another firmly rooted in modern, more experimental sounds. Which is pretty much exactly what you want.

Take for example Andy Cato’s Bassline Tune. Carried with an organ based low-end so familiar that everyone who has ever basked in the glow of a strobe has heard it before. But it’s a familiar noise no less welcome in the 21st Century as it was in the 20th. And similarly, one minute into the awe-inspiring Pleasure Seeker vs Me & I, and it’s quite easy to think of the early, heavily drugged output of this very label, despite this particular track bearing a born on date of 2010.

In contrast, the latter half of this collection is decidedly less mixed, comprising of the kind of alt-spoken word electronica made popular by the likes of Matther Dear, here brought to life by the likes of Damian Lazarus and Noze. But more impressive of these final offerings are the sultry disco of DJ T’s Gorilla Hug, or Raz Ohara and The Odd Orchestra’s The Burning Desire, and its R&B on a summer trip vibe.

Perhaps the whole compilation should have been mixed. Perhaps none of it should. Though not immediately obvious where the hammer falls on this- play it at a party and there’s a good chance it’ll be turned off once the beats stop, play it in the day and it will probably make you feel like dancing on the desk- there is one definite to take from this particular listening experience. Get Physical, no matter which side of the production fence you favour, has had some mighty, mighty fine moments. So here’s hoping there’s a couple more saved up the proverbial sleeve for that inevitable rainy day to come.