|La Di Da Di (September 18, 2015)|
Battles — La Di Da Di (September 18, 2015)
• 7. září vystoupila v Praze na STIMUL Festivalu. To je však pouze jedno ze 35 koncertního turné. Dvojvinyl je průměrně drahý (USD 24.99), obsahuje však poster složený na 8 panelů. Battles return minus the vocals, but with just as much infectious oddness as ever.
• With their new album La Di Da Di, the tangled wires and entrails of Battles’ previous records Mirrored and Gloss Drop have been pulled out, flung against the wall and scraped into an unruly pile to be trodden on — but the rhythmic core of Battles is as full as ever.Location: New York City, NY, U.S.
Genre/Styles: Experimental; Math Rock; Prog Rock; Indie Rock; Electronic
Album release: September 18, 2015
Record Label: Warp
01. "The Yabba" 6:49
02. "Dot Net" 3:00
03. "FF Bada" 4:26
04. "Summer Simmer" 5:50
05. "Cacio e Pepe" 2:42
06. "Non–Violence" 3:44
07. "Dot Com" 4:19
08. "Tyne Wear" 1:50
09. "Tricentennial" 2:57
10. "Megatouch" 5:24
11. "Flora > Fauna" 1:27
12. "Luu Le" 6:53
• Dave Konopka — bass, guitar, effects
• Ian Williams — guitar, keyboards
• John Stanier — drums
• Tyondai Braxton — guitar, keyboards, vocals (2002–2010)
• Battles — producer
• Keith Souza — producer, mixer
• Seth Manchester — producer, mixer
• Greg Calbi — mastering
• Dave Konopka — art direction
• Warp Music — publisher © Dave Konopka of Battles performing at the 2008 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN. Author Josh Rhinehart
• Battles are the Networked Band, or perhaps the–band–as–network. An island chain linked by a unique combination of artistry, experimentation, technology and singular focus. A band that holds computerized loops in their brains, leaves sweat on their machines and whose sonic heartbeat is almost brutally human.
• Dave Konopka, Ian Williams and John Stanier have turned the tables on themselves this time, confronted their own ideas of what Battles is and here on their third album, have willed an answer to that question into existence. As the name might imply, La Di Da Di is a mushrooming monolith of repetition. Here is an organic techno thrum of nearly infinite loops that refuse to remain consistent. The rhythmic genus of Battles is here as ever; full frontal, heightened and unforgiving the gauntlet through which melody and harmony must pass, assailed at every turn.
BEN HEWITT, 10TH SEPTEMBER 2015; SCORE. 6/10
• Battles’ last album, 2011’s ‘Gloss Drop’, was a masterclass in pop–tastic playfulness. After former singer Tyondai Braxton quit to pursue his solo career halfway through recording, the experimental New York three–piece bounced back by roping in pals like Gary Numan and Blonde Redhead’s Kazu Makino to sing on a bunch of infectious-but-bloody-weird bangers.
• This time round though, it’s a slightly bumpier playing field. Third album ‘La Di Da Di’ is comprised of 12 entirely instrumental tracks that feel less like stand–alone songs and more like strange sonic experiments cooked up in a lab. There are fewer pop hooks to grab hold of, and no guest singers to take you by the hand. Titles like ‘Flora > Fauna’, ‘Dot Com’ and ‘FF Bada’ are odd too, even for Battles.
• And yet being dunked in the deep–end of this weird, glitchy world can be just as much fun as ‘Gloss Drop’. From the stuttering rhythms of opener ‘The Yabba’ to the bitty squiggles of ‘Dot Net’, the record is as insistent as it is infectious. And crucially, for all the technical wizardry, the menacing squelches of ‘Summer Simmer’, the wonky techno stomp of ‘Tricentennial’ and the cosmic fairground wonder of ‘Luu Le’ — which features the sound of a helicopter — all twitch with human warmth. They may be trickier playmates than before, but Battles’ game is far from over. • http://www.nme.com/ © Ian Williams at the 2008 Moers Festival. Author Michael Hoefner
JACOB GANZ SEPTEMBER 09, 201511:03 PM ET
• Over the last decade, Battles has firmly established an ethos (sweaty, impossible–sounding music constructed out of live instrumentation and loops) and a signature sound (broken–robot rock). So it's kind of surprising to realize that the musicians — once a quartet, now a trio — have only three albums, none following the same formula. Their 2007 debut, Mirrored, won fans for its hyperactive, head–nodding momentum. The 2011 follow–up, Gloss Drop, made in the aftermath of guitarist and vocalist Tyondai Braxton's departure, featured a handful of guest singers who basically laid pop vocals over the backing tracks made by remaining members Ian Williams, Dave Konopka and John Stanier.
• With the arrival of La Di Da Di, the lit–every–four–years sign flashing overhead might as well read, "No Singers This Time." Williams, Konopka and Stanier have made a rhythm record, or maybe a rhythms record. As usual, one of the central pleasures of a Battles album is getting pushed and pulled by competing, overlapping themes. But zoom in on any single element for a while and you can locate funk (emphasis on the downbeat) or dance music (ever–unfolding layers of repetition) or rock (hard–hitting drummer acting as the switch between punk aggression and arena bombast), differentiated more by the way the shifting beats interact with the melodic loops than any sound created by a particular instrument.
• Anyway, Battles still sounds primarily like Battles. Listen to the second minute of "FF Bada" for a primer: guitars that sound like keyboards layered over keyboards that sound like guitars, trading roles to approximate a bass line or click track while Stanier sets the direction with splashes of cymbal or pounding toms. The drummer has always been the focus of Battles' live show, seated at center stage, his trademark crash cymbal raised an arm's length above his head as if to underline the effort that making this music requires. On La Di Da Di, he's the obvious star. You know the seven–minute opener "The Yabba" has reached its climax when the precise clicks he's been stacking in syncopated time over his bandmates' dizzy loops erupt into ribcage–rattling rolls.
• Given that the two predominant responses to seeing Battles play live are enthusiastic head–nodding or slack–jawed awe, the self–serious gearhead–bro element might have claimed it forever. Just about every single video the band has made works as a metaphor for the relentless movement of the music itself, and for the desire to take it apart to see what makes it tick. But the group also swings regularly toward unhinged giddiness. That might have been easier to track in the days when Braxton was out front, chirping unintelligible nursery rhymes in a processed cartoon voice. But the all–instrumental version of the band is just as interested in making you bounce.
• One of Battles’ best tricks is locking a few elements into a steady groove and then gradually dragging down or ramping up the tempo. Seeing the group play live, this manipulation unites the audience in an effort to keep up with the musicians, the memory of the previous moment lingering as you rush toward the next. On its recordings, it's more like an act of revelation than one of guidance: Battles' members reminding you that, as meticulously constructed as La Di Da Di sounds, they are its living creators.
• Careful displays of sophisticated musicality sit next to wobbling, monstrous sounds all over La Di Da Di; the key to this album is that you're not supposed to reconcile the apparent tension. Over a couple of minutes in the closing track, "Luu Le," the band heads off in every direction it can. A dopy, plonking keyboard vamp starts off sounding like the march of demented toy soldiers, slows into a reggae shuffle and then winds back up into a grinding stomp that makes those toy soldiers seem almost well–adjusted, possibly riding ATVs into the sunset. You'll want to dance to it, but you'll look like a goofball. As if that'll stop you.
By Mike Clark, 10 September 2015; Score: 6/10
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/battlestheband © John Stanier, 2008 Moers Festival. Author: Michael Hoefner
|La Di Da Di (September 18, 2015)|