Despite containing only five original tracks, Fit of Body’s long-awaited EP, Healthcare, covers a wide swath of territory, from sultry techno to understated hip-hop. The level of thoughtful variety reflects Fit of Body’s dedication to the past, from the Detroit underground to Atlanta’s favorite son Jermaine Dupri. Don’t get it twisted though: Healthcare may be an extremely mindful house record, but it’s the gorgeous production and timeless beats that make it a critical listen.
The overt passion of the record isn’t surprising considering the qualifications of Fit of Body’s Ryan Parks. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone more dedicated to the local electronica scene than the Atlanta producer. When he’s not writing music, he’s busy running Harsh Riddims Blood Sucking Cassette Co. and releasing albums like 10th Letter’s killer Portals & Compasses LP. It’s a busy schedule, which is one of the reasons why Healthcare took so long to finish. (On top of it all, Parks somehow found the time to paint the album cover.)
The post-punk rhythms that permeate the EP invoke Metal Box era PiL, but for the most part the EP finds Parks exploring funk through via the narrow lens of classic techno. It’s an interesting confluence of genre best represented by the album’s unexpected anchor, “770-997-2341.” The track’s incessant refrain of “Dial me, it’s been awhile” is initially nonchalant, but the insistent beat ratchets up the tension until all you can do is stare at your own phone and wonder at the abstraction of human relationships.
In truth, “770-997-2341” shouldn’t work on Healthcare. I get it — juxtaposition, contrast, blah blah blah — but it still shouldn’t work. And yet what should disrupt the flow of the record instead grounds it in the realm of experimental expression and accents the smoothness of the rest of the EP. As a whole, Healthcare hinges on citrus-laced funk to balance out stringent percussion. Even the dreamy introspection of “Antonio Girl” utilizes oceans of reverb to invoke waves lapping at the sunset. While it’s not much of a departure from Fit of Body’s 2015 tape, Health is Wealth, or his 2016 12″ on CGI Records, it’s proof that Parks is willing to take risks as long as they accentuate his internal interpretation of Atlanta.
Overall, Healthcare works as a casually brilliant statement rendered all the more impactful by its cool delivery. It’s the kind of record you want bumping when you roll into the gas station before a night out, and the one you want on repeat when you’re headed back from the club. It’s easy to get lost in the nuts and bolts of the production, but forget the technicality and embrace the transcendent synths.