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Battles: La Di Da Di

Eccentric, brilliant new LP from electro-math luminaries.

Depending on who you talk to, Battles are either part of a wave of vigorous electronic fusion, or iconic forebears to the modern math-rock scene.

The first case probably holds more water, signed as they are to electronic label Warp and possessing a fanbase far broader than those who primarily remember Ian Williamson as the second guitarist for math rock pioneers Don Caballero, and John Stanier as the drummer from Helmet. Nevertheless, album three drags them even further from the angular electronics and mathy guitars of their debut and further into proggy realms. Witness the entry of the detuned lead on opener The Yabba or cascading, garbled samples on Flora > Fauna for examples of truly out‑there experimentation. Other highlights include Dot Net (early 90s sports videogame soundtrack combined with athletic drum workout) and the relentless Dot Com (Kraftwerk meets …Trail Of Dead). Summer Shimmer is the obvious single, with duelling guitars and wild electronics. If that sounds intense, don’t worry – Battles have a sense of fun, with every note practically screaming joy at unfettered creativity, making for a captivating and refreshing listen.