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A Magazine for Sheffield

La Di Da Di

Whilst I am sure that I'm not the only one who noticed something was missing from Battles’ last release, Gloss Drop, I am equally sure they are fed up of people mentioning Tyondai Braxton when discussing them. I was one of those people who would bring up co-founder Braxton, who left the band in 2010, whenever the bandcame up in conversation. Shame on me. Battles don’t need my approval. They have been working mighty hard and have come so far, and La Di Da Di is an incredible showcase of that. Now maybe the comparisons can finally stop.

The first aspect of this album, which grabbed me immediately, was the step away from the more polished approach to songwriting and production on Gloss Drop. La Di Da Diisn't incomplete or flawed, but it sounds much closer to three guys battling (ahem) it out in a sweaty practice room, running their fingers bare and pushing through the hand cramps to get it exactly how they want it. The fire has been stoked and the energy has returned.

Micro loops repeat and repeat, overlapping each other again and again, until the polyrhythms become an easily digestible whole. But above all the complexity, beat counting and chin stroking, by far the best part of this record is the fact that they have, literally and figuratively, got their groove back.

Battleshave always been pushing the digital andanalogue worlds together, but this doesn’t only come across in their sound palette - it’s the interaction between synthesis of sound, the fundamental flaws and perfections of repetition and human performance.

Gordon Barker