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Published: 2015/12/01
by Ron Hart

Battles
La Di Da Di

Warp

Funny how Battles named their third full-length after perhaps the most significant a capella this side of “Mr. Sandman”. For this second album since the departure of Tyondai Braxton, the super trio of drummer John Stanier, guitarist Ian Williams and bassist John Konopka return to the roots of what made them such a powerful union in the first place by going entirely instrumental in the grand tradition of the band’s essential first three EPs. However, the living spirits of Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh are indeed paid homage to on La Di Da Di as the band goes deep into the groove over the course of these 50-odd minutes. Tracks like “The Yabba”, “Summer Simmer” and “Megatouch” are just three examples here of how well these guys are able to creatively improvise within the most disciplined rhythmic pocket. It is as if they are trying to figure out how to translate J. Dilla’s Donuts into the rock music format, and somehow manage to nail it on instinct alone. No doubt there is a population of fans who miss Braxton’s annoying alien vocals from Mirrored or the parade of singers that imbued Gloss Drop. But as La Di Da Di so deftly proves, when these guys cut the singer’s mic they are unstoppable.

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