Interview: Physical Therapy on his Decession Performance

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Physical Therapy is Daniel Fisher, a US producer currently based in Berlin, label head of the colourfully banging Allergy Season imprint, mercenary releaser on some of the tighest labels around, namely Liberation technologies, Unknown To The Unknown, 1080p and recent Berghain debutant.

This Saturday, Fisher will take part in Decession, a multi-disciplinary event hosted in the beautiful setting of Berlin’s Volksbühne. Billed alongside some of the most interesting players of the Berlin scene, with recent Young Turks signees Amnesia Scanner, PAN top dog Bill Kouligas and ASMR explorer Claire Tolan also taking part, Fisher will present Club, a custom-designed perfume, developed with the help of graphic designer Florian Ludwig.

Club takes the olfactory angle to explore the “web that metastasizes only in the confines of a pulsating techno club, the product of years of sedimented sweat, dirt, cigarette ash, piss, beer, cocktails and cum”. The piece will be presented alongside a custom soundtrack played through nearby speakers, giving the illusion of hearing the party from another room.

We hooked up with Fisher via email for a quick chat about his piece. Read on, head over to the Decession Facebook event for more information about the night and make sure to buy a ticket.

Local Suicide: Hi Daniel, thanks for speaking to us. This Saturday you are presenting a piece at the Volksbühne for Decession, an event that blurs the lines between the more atypical ends of electronic music and performance, visual and video art. The lineup reads like a who’s who of innovative Berlin artists with the likes of Bill Kouligas, M.E.S.H, TCF and yourself participating. How did you get involved in the project?

Physical Therapy: We were all approached by Martin Hossbach about being a part of the Festival, I’m not sure if he knew we were all friends already. I had met Martin previously doing an episode of his “One Hit Parade” show.

LSD: You will be presenting a perfume called “Club”. Where does the idea come from? Is this something you’d had in the back of your mind or did it spring up once you got involved in the event?

PT: The perfume idea actually came up while brainstorming for a back-up plan with my friend, writer and comedian Steven Phillips-Horst. My original plan was to make a virtual reality simulator of the club experience, but after a couple of months working on that, it became clear there was no feasible way to do it within the time and budget constraints of this festival. A scent seemed like another interesting way to have an abstract interpretation of the club experience. Later I started working with Florian Ludwig, first as a graphic designer but eventually we ended up collaborating on every element of the project.

LSD: Smell is an unusual angle to approach the idea of a club. Is there the smell of a particular club that stands out for you? How would you describe it and how does it affect you?

PT: Well, I think its actually quite hard to smell while you are at a club, its too overwhelming. But it is possible to find traces of what the actual smell is, if you sniff your shirt the next day for example. There was a tag-line in a commercial for Old Spice deodorant that “smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory.” It sounds like something that was made up at an ad agency– but this project is kind of an exercise in advertising so it works for our purposes.

LSD: The visual side of your label Allergy Season repurposes the aesthetics of Benadryl packaging. Are you taking cues from specific brands for this project?

PT: I think our goal was “faceless luxury brand.”

LSD: When in the career of an artist do you feel it’s acceptable to launch a perfume brand?

PT: As soon as they have the means.

LSD: If you were to shoot an advert for “Club”, what would the storyline be?

PT: A woman in business casual outfit checking out a supermarket. As she takes out her credit card to pay a bottle of club and various questionable materials fall from her bag. We flash back to the previous evening at a nightclub. A voice whispers “Club” and we cut back to the supermarket where she scrambles to push everything back into her bag.

LSD: What’s up for you on the release front? Can we expect more collaborations with Dial?

PT: I have an EP coming out on Work Them Records next month and then a couple more 12″ later in the year on various labels.

LSD: What’s happening with Allergy Season? The Side Effects May Include EP was one of my favorite releases from last year.

PT: Glad you enjoyed it! A new compilation packed with friends and family is dropping on Allergy Season very soon!!

For more of Physical Therapy, lock in to his Allergy Season show on Berlin Community Radio.

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