HEALTH's first remix album was among 2008's best of the best. Behind the strength of the blogosphere's golden age and a brilliant remix that rode Crystal Castles' rise to the top, //DISCO
put the Los Angeles noise band on the map in a big, big way. But the tricky part when curating a remix album is that you're essentially placing your band's fortunes in the hands of hired arms. //DISCO
, fortunately, had great help, thanks to fantastic contributions from Acid Girls, Thrust Lab, Pictureplane, CFCF and more. With ::Disco2
, however, the trapping could've easily been more the same. Beats stiffen, layers lose their depth, and electro&mdash for the most part&mdash has lost most of its initial shine.
But with ::Disco2
, that wasn't the case. Not by a longshot.
blew me away from the onset. This time around, HEALTH's Get Color
gets reimagined by newcomers Javelin, Blondes, Gold Panda, and the vastly underrated Salem, along with contributions from old dogs like CFCF, Crystal Castles and Pictureplane. With ::Disco2
, the BPMs are slowed to an atmospheric, crunkified drawl. The texture is the highlight, with every potential count filled brilliantly by reconstructed noise from Get Color
's palette. The result is the complete opposite of 2010's trendy minimalism. Rather, the experience is a filthy sort of excess that enters via your eardrums and sweats out through your pores.
A few highlights: CFCF's "Before Tigers" remixes the pounding relentlessness of the original into a druggy animatronic safari, and sounds like a tune that could easily be used in a World Cup montage. Little Loud takes "Nice Girls" and draws out hidden '80s electronica elements to craft the pulse and thrill of a teenaged love-song. But my personal favorite is Javelin's remix of "In Heat," which comes with the most arrogant presence of the whole lot. Quite simply, it's one of the best bangers I've heard in a long time.
Now, five stars might seem excessive, but I assure you it's not. Does it mean this album is perfect? Not by any stretch. But is ::Disco2
when measured against previously established expectations, growth, and a speculative idea of what the album is trying to accomplish, as good or better than originally anticipated? That's a resounding yes. ::Disco2
is the best album I've heard so far this year. chris gayomali
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MP3: "USA Boys" (::Disco2)
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