INCHES006: New Wax from HEALTH, Mayer Hawthorne, and White Shit (+ MP3s, chart, video)
In the unpredictable wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many (with delicious irony) as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES seeks not only to review the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or otherwise), but to pay dap to those who continue to tend the flame, believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
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Label: Lovepump United (Brooklyn)
Title: Get Color
Format: LP (+ download card, sticker, poster), clear vinyl, 500 pressed
It seems fitting that as Nine Inch Nails waves goodbye to Los Angeles, HEALTH says hello again. Better than any other noisenik outfit out there (local or otherwise), HEALTH weaves electronics into its spooky soundscapes to devastating effect. On the group's sophomore LP, Get Color, atonal ringing and busted-bitrate thumps move the music in strange ways, through moments that are genuinely pop-ish ("Die Slow") and passages that are extremely disorienting ("Death+"), while Jake Duzsik's vocals float in the resultant atmosphere. Equally fitting: Get Color comes on clear vinyl, if -- that is -- you're quick enough to grab it.
Stones Throw's bio for Mayer Hawthorne boasts that the rising R&B talent is an "admitted vinyl junkie who never planned on taking his crooning public." While the second part of that statement may seem less plausible with each passing day, the first is being proven again and again. First, Hawthorne hit us with a heart-shaped 7-inch, and now this: a limited run of his full-length debut, A Strange Arrangement, on CD with a 4-inch slab containing two exclusive tracks. The Michigan native's pitch-perfect throwback soul is absolutely meant for the juke, and the bonus tracks - a cover of Jesse James' "Love Is All Right" and a demo version of "When I Said Goodbye" - crackle, warble and snap in all the right places. Available in 2LP also.
Purchase now via the Stones Throw web store.