Review Summary: Life is strange but it's all we've got.
The landing of DISCO3
is one many have been anticipating for awhile now, with no real development on the matter. The band’s routine at this point sees a DISCO alternative to their latest LP a year after its release, but, as the band have said over the course of 2016, DISCO3
was stuck under a few problems while it was being made. So it always comes as a wonderful surprise when bands throw something to their fans with little warning, matched by a rather unique way of promoting the record. DISCO3
was brought to its fans in the form of a “Reverse Telethon” program, fronted by Pauly Shore, where fans text the HEALTH Hotline (found on some of their music videos, such as “New Coke”) to receive a call back from the team thanking them for their support and letting them know DISCO3
has been released. A rather cool way to promote something, and further proof these guys are always thinking outside the box.
However, the promotion wouldn’t be worth spit if DISCO3
didn’t actually pay off. I have to say this is my most anticipated DISCO release yet, simply because the album it’s working off is quite different to the last two records; Death Magic
was a much more accessible record, with boatloads of melody and catchy hooks -- as well as an equal amount of melancholy -- and it always left me mulling over how the remixes would play out. There is a couple of familiar faces on the track listing, namely Pictureplane’s and CFCF -- whose take on “Dark Enough” is a definite highlight to the record and brings an upbeat reggae swagger to the track -- but for the most part this is a fresh set of musicians putting their stamp on Death Magic
. One thing I really enjoyed about DISCO2
was the inclusion of a fresh track, so it comes as an immense surprise that this record contains a number of new HEALTH tracks to tuck into, this includes: last years Adult Swim single “Crusher”, as well as “Euphoria”, “Slum Lord” and “Victim II” being added additions to the band’s canon. These new tracks and “Crusher” showcase a much bigger emphasis on atmosphere and tone than ever before; they’re slower, darker and more broody, but still managing to maintain their accessibility and signature sound -- which is no easy feat. A sign of things to come? I really hope so, because they feel like a perfect progression to where they’ve taken their sound thus far.
At this point, it’s hard to really fault a DISCO release. If you’re not a fan of these releases, you won’t find much to enjoy here either -- bar the four non-remix tracks scattered throughout DISCO3
-- but for anyone who has enjoyed them previous will know what to expect at this point, and it’s all fantastic stuff. The band have a knack for finding an artist that can bring out new and exciting dimensions to their tracks, and it has to be said, the artists this time around have a much more abrasive approach to their tracks: “MEN TODAY (JK FLESH REMIX)” is a really great interpretation to the song and moves like Gozilla crushing a small city with its dirty, bellowing distorted bass throughout; “COURTSHIP II - ROLY PORTER RMX” for its all round schizophrenic nature, to the point where it sounds like a track stuttering on a scratched CD and “SALVIA - MARCUS WHALE RMX” which features an earth shattering thunder, melded with some really great synth work that brings out a new sadness to the song. There is still a lot of upbeat takes to tracks; as said CFCF’s reggae inspired rendition is brilliant, “LIFE - PURITY RING RMX” for its harmonies and epic swells really bring this song into a different league and “LA LOOKS (GUARDIAN RMX)” for its undeniable 80s gallop deliver a great listening experience. The only real duff track on here is “STONEFIST (BOYS NOIZE X EMPRESS OF RMX)”, and it isn’t down to the music -- as that brings the song to even darker levels -- but more the irritating airy vocals featured on the track.
It’s hard to say if this is the best DISCO release yet, because each release stems from an album which in itself is very different to the LP previous, but if we’re basing it on content, then this one has the upper hand due to the inclusion of more non-remix material. If you like the DISCO series, this maintains the same high standard as the other two, and is guaranteed to deliver. If you’re a fan of artists such as Pictureplane’s and Crystal Castles, or you enjoy electronic music, you should definitely give this a go as well as it has a lot to offer fans of this type of music.
EDITIONS: MP3, C̶D̶, V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A
Notes: Physical copies for CD are on pre-order right now, with a release at the end of the month, and vinyl will be released later this year.