After impressing many with their 2007 debut, Mirrored, Brooklyn math rock experimentalists Battles were dealt a potentially mortal blow when keyboardist and vocalist Tyondai Braxton left while they were making a second album. However, they regrouped and reworked, creating the follow-up, Gloss Drop, with guest vocalists ranging from Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino to Gary Numan. The same spirit of adventure has presumably inspired them to submit the album to the remixers' whim already. Initially a set of 12in singles, their original tracks are mostly given a more electronic, dancefloor hue, within which styles rollercoast from from hip-hop to garage to African music, and moods from airy to sinister. Kode9's revamp of Africastle wonderfully brings a steel-band vibe to techno. Elswhere, Kangding Ray's Toddler is dark and menacing; Qluster's Dominican Fade sparse and lovely. It can feel more like a collection than an album per se, but it's hard to avoid the sense of gathering pace as Hudson Mohawke's euphoric, Four Tetish Rolls Bayce rampages into Patrick Mahoney & Dennis McNany's Machines, Gary Numan's stern, mocking vocals soaring over an irresistible disco strut.

• This article was amended on 16 April 2012 to correct the name of the track Africastle from Africacastle.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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