The ever-innovating Battles have reached new heights with their new album ‘Juice B Crypts’.
The refined sound has traces of their past while revealing new techniques and vibrations; for 40-odd minutes listeners are put in a fast pace, mind-bending trance.
The duo make good use of collaborations with the likes of Prairie WWWW and Jon Anderson and many others, and there’s a technological thread running through the record - there are echoes of glitching websites and old school videogames on tracks like ‘Last Supper On Shasta Pt. 2’ and ‘Ambulance’, and sounds that feel like a robotic language emerge throughout the project.
There’s another thread running through the album: New York City. Battles have put their hometown at the centre of ‘Juice B Crypts’, and while it’s always been inaugural to their sound this time they wrote and recorded everything while living there. The New York feel is especially heightened in ‘Titanium 2 Step’ which features No Wave legend Sal Principato from Liquid Liquid.
The band’s fourth album doesn’t see them return to old patterns - it’s enthusiastically fresh - and the ethos behind the record is just as original. Battles say ‘Juice B Crypts’ reflects the repeated ingestion of human inflections into machine learning, and is filled with “hidden codes and languages that only they know”.
It would be hard to find an album to compete with theirs in regards of modernism or creativeness.
Words: Lauren Dehollogne
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