Battles: La Di Da Di review – still powered by playfulness


Battles’ latest album is a slinky joy. The New York math-rave outfit made their name as an experimental rock band crossed with a party animal – largely instrumental, but with treated vocals most often deployed as textures. Save for some yelling on Summer Simmer, this third effort dispenses with the reliance on singers that characterised its predecessors. Drawing on intricate grooves, sinuous loops, systems music and non-Western sources, these 12 tracks remain powered by playfulness, rather than the desire to overcomplicate and exclude that often accompanies non-linear music. For every urgent tune like the cinematic Non-Violence (whose bass jabs are pretty muscular), there are inspired variations, like the dreamy calm of Cacio e Pepe or the bejewelled hamminess of Megatouch.


Kitty Empire

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Battles: 'Our music is supposed to be fun'

Despite losing their frontman, American alt‑rockers Battles have made one of the albums of the year. Hermione Hoby joins them in LA to find out how

Hermione Hoby

06, Aug, 2011 @11:05 PM

Battles: Gloss Drop – review

Battles' new album lacks the thrust of their debut, but they've turned up the fun without their former frontman, says Killian Fox

Killian Fox

04, Jun, 2011 @11:08 PM

High Life review – Eno · Hyde's second album in two months is not just offcuts
Though their world music jams could be wiggier, this new record matches up to Someday World, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

28, Jun, 2014 @11:04 PM

Battles: Dross Glop – review

It's a little disjointed as an album, but there are some fine moments among this collection of Battles remixes, writes Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

12, Apr, 2012 @8:16 PM

Article image
CD: Battles, Mirrored


Tom Hughes

11, May, 2007 @10:55 PM

Article image
Future Days review – an absorbing history of Krautrock and 1970s Germany
David Stubbs’s story of Can, Kraftwerk and Germany’s postwar generation is enthusiastic and well researched, writes Ian Thomson

Ian Thomson

17, Aug, 2014 @11:30 AM

Article image
Music Weekly podcast: Battles and Gwilym Gold

The New York experimentalists discuss the departure of their vocalist, while Gwilym Gold tells us about the Bronze format – where a track is never played the same way twice

Presented by Alexis Petridis and produced by Scott Cawley

03, Jun, 2011 @4:12 PM

Article image
Black Midi: Hellfire review – exhilarating ambition
The Londoners freely cram genres and ideas into their concept album about death

Phil Mongredien

17, Jul, 2022 @8:00 AM

Article image
Jeff Parker: Forfolks review – a meditative gem
The style-surfing guitarist deploys self-quoting loops and minimal solo work to beguiling effect

Kitty Empire

12, Dec, 2021 @9:00 AM

Article image
Black Midi review – punk-jazz power is a recipe for success
The London rockers pack a punch with a thunderous recital of their new album. Shame about the sound…

Kitty Empire

05, Jun, 2021 @1:00 PM