Review Summary: More focused and more concise. A REMIX album that's worth talking about.
It appears that the "DISCO" remix album is a permanent fixture in HEALTH's schedule of album making and touring. When the band come back from a stint of touring, after promoting their latest offering, the next move is to make the next collection of "DISCO" tracks. And who can blame them? Not only does it bring longevity to whatever their most recent LP is, with songs sitting in the minds of fans for longer, but it brings interesting dynamics to the table: things can be looked at from a different angle, changes can be made, and the overall aesthetic of a track can turn in a way you wouldn't have thought of.
So after the interesting //DISCO
, which brought spades of new layers and tones to an almost structureless debut, the band pumped out their sophomore album Get Color
: an album that confines their drawing space a little to put an emphasis on the verse, chorus dynamic. With a few boarders put on its compositions it sent the band into a much more accessible domain; more vocals, more melodies, and a bigger focus on mood making. This kind of shift in music making is what makes the band so interesting, but it also makes it extremely relevant to, once again, jump in to the next "DISCO" LP. Because of the polar opposite designs of the first two studio albums, this guarantees ::DISCO2
won't be the one trick pony, cash-in many albums of this sort can be. It has plenty of room to work on different angles and soundscapes that will bring out some exciting turns to its original tracks.
sees a host of familiar faces from the previous remix release, such as CFCF, Crystal Castles and Pictureplane, but there are several new additions for this LP. It's also worth mentioning that even though //DISCO
was a great album, it was risky business using the same artist more than once and using the same song several times; it worked, but it could have gone badly. Thankfully, ::DISCO2
has capped one track per artist this time, which is definitely a pro, because you are getting a completely different mindset for each track on the album. This album is also a much more refined experience, to the already fantastic //DISCO
, and it's evident that even more thought has gone into this version. ::DISCO2
kicks off with a brand new, fresh and unremixed track, that paints an eerie picture of where the band will take its sound with their future soundtrack Max Payne 3
: showing buckets of melancholy and catchy hooks, all rolled up in a slow swaying tempo, it definitely gives the listener key indicators of what future compositions hold for the band in later years, when looked at retrospectively.
is a much more ambient and chilled out offering to what its older brother offers. The harsh electronics previous have been toned down here and songs like "Before Tigers (Gold Panda remix)" and "Nice Girls (Blondes remix)" sound more like the exceptional offerings of a Burial album than the obvious dance beats of, say, "Triceratops (Acid Girls Rmx B)". It's not as abrasive and obvious, a lot of the time it's one of those albums best experienced by putting your headphones in and chilling out on a beanbag. It correlates better with future works, than the completely different shift in sound its predecessor had. Which leaves me to speculate this was aimed intentionally at being more consistent in mood and tone, a bridge builder, in keep with where the band want to move sonically in the future. The album is saturated in moody, epic tones: the fantastic closer "Before Tigers (Blindoldfreak remix)" and "In Violet (Salem remix)" have the droning, dark synths that really bring out the atmospherics of the band.
I think when the band set out to make the first "DISCO" record it was just a bit of fun to bring out a different dimension to their songs, but when it got to the second offering they saw a particular potential for it. It's 110% more consistent -- which is surprising considering every track is made by a different artist -- and when you look at it these days, you can see it is a blueprint that holds a lot of what the band are using today. A much more mature iteration, and with the inclusion of a brand new song, it just makes it taste that much sweeter.
EDITIONS: VINYL, M̶P̶3̶, C̶D̶
PACKAGING: X2 LP VINYL GATEFOLD
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A