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Battles return this autumn with their fourth album Juice B Crypts on Warp Records to follow their complex, mind-bending predecessors Mirrored, Gloss Drop, Dross Glop and La Di Da Di. Their latest album is a sensory overload of information that throws everything you thought you knew about Battles into flux once again.
Battles redefined line-up puts Ian Williams (Keys, Guitar, Electronics) and John Stanier (Drums) at the core of the covertly named Juice B Crypts, which was produced and mixed by Chris Tabron (Trash Talk, Beyonce, Mobb Deep, Ratking). Marrying synthesizer loops, cut-throat drum patterns and cyclical riffs, the album flirts with new technology, questions of authenticity and the technicalities of reinventing the wheel at the eleventh hour.
In true Battles form, the pair have encrypted the album with hidden codes and secret languages that only they know. What does the composer of "Taxi", a semi-modular analog subtractive audio synthesizer, a two cycle gasoline tie drilling machine and a 70's band with fifteen studio and six live albums have to do with Juice B Crypts? One answer Ian points you to is the concept of ‘medium specificity' coined by New York art critic Clement Greenberg, which valued artists' abilities to manipulate mediums based on their materiality. Like painters on the vanguard of modernism, Battles apply their medium of choice: intricate arpegios sequenced on an Elektron Octatrack, mind-altering pitch-shifted chord progressions, sixteen-measure time signatures and twisted clues to do the talking. All to be somewhat expected from the band responsible for boundary-defying songs such as "The Yabba", "Atlas" and "Ice Cream".
The announcement of Juice B Crypts is timed with the first single "Titanium 2 Step". Featuring No Wave legend Sal Principato from the iconic ‘80s New York band Liquid Liquid, this first offering is an homa