[one_half last=”no”]
La Di Da Di

NBHAP Rating: 4,3/5


[one_half last=”yes”]BATTLES
La Di Da Di

Release-Date: 18.09.2015
Label: Warp Records

01. The Yabba
02. Dot Net
03. FF Bada
04. Summer Simmer
05. Cacio e Pepe
06. Non-Violence
07. Dot Com
08. Tyne Wear
09. Tricentennial
10. Megatouch
11. Flora > Fauna
12. Luu Le




Ever change a winning team

My dad once told me one simple advice which led me into the world of music: bands should change now and then in order to stay relevant. It seems as if Brooklyn-bred BATTLES grew up with the same advice. If there’s one band that never failed to reinvent themselves, it’s them. Even though BATTLES started off in the early 2000s, the first full-length Mirrored was only released in 2007. The album and single Atlas became a massive success, but singer Tyondai Braxton left the band before they could record their follow-up album Gloss Drop. After using guest vocalists such as GARY NUMAN for their follow-up in 2011, the band is now back as a three-piece without any vocals on their-third full length La Di Da Di.

The Yabba’s motive

La Di Da Di is as diverse as its album cover menu: sunny sides up, bacon, melon, banana, pancakes (what a combination!) While some people might fear that there’s something missing without the vocals the band members made sure to fill this gap. La Di Da Di seems – even though it includes the BATTLES-typical weird track names – well structured. The tracks aren’t redundant but yet there’s a leading motive which finds itself in many album tracks. It’s the wrenching guitar riffs and pulsing drum beats of opener The Yabba. The combination finds itself in tracks FF Bada, Summer Simmer, Non-Violence, Dot Com and Luu Le. There are other, smaller motives like the clashing cymbals in Tyne Wearor the scratching sound effects in Tricentenntial. But The Yabba is the leading track- or to speak in the terms of classical music- exposition of La Di Da Di. All important elements which lead to the structure of the following 11 tracks are united in the 6:49 long track. There are sound effects, those pulsing drums played by John Stainer, stricken guitar by Ian Williams and sweet cymbals by Dave Konopka. The Yabba sounds like a mysterious soundtrack first, develops to a math rock anthem, to a techno beat and to an Asian folk song at last.

Trigger warning

Maybe it makes some kind of dramaturgical sense that BATTLES chose La Di Da Di to be an album without any vocals. It’s not just ‘instrumental’ (who would refer to music as ‘instrumental’ anyway?) but rather the first movement of an electronic sonata. There is so much to discover that any additional vocals would be very much distracting from the whole impression. Nonetheless, La Di Da Di should come with a trigger warning. The whole journey might get too confusing and overwhelming for listeners during the end of the album. The tracks Megajourney and Flora_Fauna use a way faster rhythm than the previous tracks. But there’s always time to to go back on a journey with BATTLES – hopefully not four years though. There should me more movements in this electronic sonata than just La Di Da Di.

BATTLES’ La Di Da Di comes as a colorful and diverse menu. But listeners shouldn’t eat too fast as this electronic sonata has much more to offer than just being an ‘instrumental’ album.