Whether you call Health avant-garde, art-punk or just glorious noisemakers, the critically acclaimed Los Angeles band has given us one of the most radical remix albums in recent memory.
A passel of dance-music producers have remade and remodeled tunes from Health's acclaimed debut release of last year. That excellent album sounded like the Blood Brothers and Flowers of Romance-era Public Image Ltd. under the influence of Steve Reich's Drumming, with screeching noise and booming polyrhythms alternating with snippets of Gregorian-style chanting and lulling trance textures.
On Health//Disco, the music from the debut (11 songs that clocked in at 28 minutes) are stretched out and rendered almost indistinguishable from the originals. Some of the songs are remixed more than once, with "Triceratops" (one of the first album's highlights) getting three versions--all of which is in keeping with the experimental, no-boundaries approach that Health has established as its modus operandi. The daring interpretations and variations add elements that are completely new and (most of the time) refreshing.
The Narctrax remix, for instance, of "Heaven" adds a phalanx of keyboards that recalls the coldly attractive undulations of Kraftwerk. The CFCF remix of "Triceratops" features wheedling synthesizers straight from some nonexistent John Carpenter film soundtrack.
Also exciting are the trippy phased guitars on the Curses! remix of "Perfect Skin."