Tuesday, December 06, 2011

STN Albums Of The Year no.30: Battles - Gloss Drop

With Tyondai Braxton gone the remaining Battles trio chose a more playful route than the jazzily obtuse moments that afflicted Mirrored. With John Stanier's precision drumming front and centre, the rhythms push out like unstable pistons while around it dance implausibly intricate guitar sounds and keyboard patterns, the sound of carnival fairgrounds gone haywire. It works like a machine, just one that hasn't worked out mathematical precision but will send sparks everywhere, structures sometimes stretched out into Reich-ambient, sometimes bunched up into rushing busily. The decision to bring in guest singers isn't entirely necessary and not just because of how well previous vocals acted like just another effect - Sweetie & Shag sounds like a more hurried take on singer Kazu Makino's own Blonde Redhead - but because it detracts from the act of instrumental pattern forming as quantum physics.


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