Battles – HI _ LO

To my mind, Battles’ music sounds like it is being carefully crafted as it is created. You start with a foundation, be it a bass line or a drum beat, and like any construction project, you build on it gradually creating something more than the sum of its parts. In fact that’s probably a fairly accurate description of all music, and a lot of other art for that matter: but it’s probably only in certain genres, math rock for example, and you also see it in prog, techno and some electronica, is it as transparent as the building metaphor implies.

With a lot of Battles’ music, the subtle creation of a larger whole from its constituent parts is more obvious and at times it feels as though you can literally pin point each new layer, each innovation, each extra floor and light as it’s added to the building.

Perhaps that’s because their music inhabits a rarified hinterland that sits at the cross section between math and prog rock, and techno and electronic, but listening to their first album, Mirrored, sounds like seeing a neon city being built and soundtracked before your eyes. Hence the photo above being chosen to accompany their music – with it’s repetitive details and orderly, futurist facade, it seems to complement perfectly their beats.

HI/LO is from Battles’ first EP, confusingly titled EP C, which unbelievably was released way back in 2004, before they issued their first album Mirrored in 2007. The fact that have only released three EPs and one album in seven years shows something about their productivity, but when they’re consistently so good!

However, in a post on the band’s Myspace today they announced a new track, part of yet another amazing line up for the next Twilight soundtrack, is available to listen to online here but only for 24 hours: get on it!

You can buy both Mirrored and EP C (as part of a set with B EP) from Amazon here and here, and both are also available from Battles