HEALTH Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape

Health

By the turn of this new decade, the increasingly big tent that is “indie rock” had become more a part of the popular conscious than ever before, and with artists like the National recently charting in Billboard next to Justin Beiber, that trend doesn’t seem to be receding anytime soon. While this shift certainly makes viable creating music that once was considered unlistenable, we can’t help but lament the loss of a certain kind of danger that came along with indie’s heretofore underground standing. Fortunately, L.A.’s HEALTH has defied this dynamic entirely, amassing scores of devotees while composing with undeniably intense textures that are at the same time guttural and strangely beautiful. Listen to “Crimewave” from its eponymous debut followed by “USA Boys,” the new single from its second remix album DISCO2 (Lovepump United), and you’ll find that like Liars, Fugazi and Nine Inch Nails, the young four-piece can smartly channel angst on multiple levels, “Crimewave” penetrating with ferocity, “USA Boys” with seduction. In the midst of a hectic touring schedule, HEALTH was kind enough to compile a mix tape for MAGNET, which revels in the same rough and affecting spirit that underscores its music. Enjoy.

“USA Boys” (download):

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2Pac “Hit ‘Em Up”
Jupiter: This is one of my favorite songs of all time despite the shitty rapping of the guest MCs. I’m not aware of rage ever being articulated with this kind of razor sharp precision in music ever; before or after this. I get chills every time I listen to this song. People died over this shit. Video

Nirvana “Milk It”
BJ: My favorite band of all time. The reason I got into drums and not saxophone. I can’t stop loving every song this band ever erected. Video

Suicidal Tendencies “You Can’t Bring Me Down”
John: Just cuz you don’t understand what’s going on don’t mean it don’t make no sense, and just because you don’t like it don’t mean it ain’t no good! And let me tell you something: Before you go taking a walk in my world, you better go take a walk in the real world, cuz this ain’t no Mister Rogers neighborhood! Can you say feel like shit? Yeah, maybe sometimes I do feel like shit. I ain’t happy about it, but I’d rather feel like shit then be full of shit! And if I offended you, oh I’m sorry, but maybe you need to be offended. But here’s my apology and one more thing: Fuck you! Video

Crass “Have A Nice Day”
Jake: This band is the fucking Ornette Coleman of peace punk. So chock full of distortion and screamingly naive politics that the army of crust kids with the Crass symbol sewn to their filthy black hoodies don’t even know that they have been recruited to participate in an undeniably avant-garde musical experiment. This track opens their opus, Christ The Album, and begins with samples from British national television programs before dropping into a bizarrely cheery riff that sounds like I.R.S. era R.E.M. Then, of course, the whole shit-house goes up in flames. Video

Nicki Minaj “Your Love”
Jupiter: Minaj has it. And her newest single cements her potential to become huge. If Minaj’s debut album delivers, you’re going to have to make some room at the top, Gaga. This Barbie has massive star quality. Video

D-Lo “18″
BJ: D-Lo and DJ Fresh, coming atcha with gas! This album is an inspiration. The dark hooks, crazy psychedelic, ambient undertones and solid lo-fi beats. I’m goin’ dumb on some mothafuckin D-Lo. Video

Gold Panda “Back Home”
John: I feel artists like Gold Panda, Pictureplane, Salem and more are part of a wave of cool alternative electronic music the kids have been subconsciously craving for ages. It’s what the kids want and most don’t know it yet. It’s like you’re a caveman, and I just showed up with some chocolate cake. What they call supernormal stimuli. BTW, this track is awesome. There is hope for the children. Video

Fleetwood Mac “Beautiful Child”
Jake: Most people don’t have the discipline to read Remembrance Of Things Past. Even fewer people have the diligence to listen to Tusk in its entirety. This track is near the end, and it’s worth the wait. Simple and heart-breaking. Stevie at her best. Video

AIDS 3D “Because Of You”
Jupiter: I developed a pretty strong emotional connection to this track recently. Some songs get real heavy when they drag, and this is definitely one. When it moves this slow, the helplessness and willing desperation feels so much more real. Just because all AIDS 3D did was slow the song down doesn’t mean it should be dismissed. Audio

La Roux “Cover My Eyes”
BJ: After suicidal grunge and gansta rap, I like to cry like a bitch. “So would you hold me please?/I’m trying hard to breathe/I’m just surviving” … mmmmmm! Video

Rusko “Hold On (Sub Focus Remix)”
John: Pretty sweet-ass song, plus a big highlight for me is Dirty Projectors vocalist Amber Coffman’s singing on the track. She’s a great singer, but the real gravy is that there’s reverb on her sweet vocals, which I always find craving when listening to the bone dry-ness of a Dirty Projectors record. This version is a remix by Sub Focus. I love the original as well, but this remix has a little goodie at 1:05 that’s pretty awesome. Video

The Band “I Shall Be Released”
Jake: Nina Simone’s version is incredible and vocally virtuosic. However, there is is something about the Band’s interpretation that just makes me want to cry like a little bitch. The warped-and-faded production, along with the high fragile whine of the vocal line, sounds like the perfect soundtrack to 10,000 night-long vigils seated on tear-stained formica tabletops. I know … crying like a bitch again. Video

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