Math rock emperors Battles saw their crown knocked askew after a lukewarm reception to their second album, Gloss Drop, last year. But if this first in a four-part series of 12-inch vinyl remixes is evidence, the album is about to have new life breathed into it.
The first outing sees two of Kompakt's much-garlanded musicians—The Field and Gui Boratto—coming to grips with the material. You know what you are getting with the former; true to form, Axel Wilner takes the merest hint of the original "Sweetie & Shag" and then loops it, adding a smattering of digital snares and a heavy bagpipe drone. There's no denying its raw beauty and hypnotising, soothing qualities, but you wonder how much longer The Field will be able to pull off variations of the same trick.
In contrast, Brazilian producer Gui Boratto, loads up his reworking of "Wall Street" with more ideas than an Apple R&D brainstorming session. It's like some alternative Bond theme, with a twanging rock & roll guitar riff percolating throughout its seven-minute duration. Washes of strings waft the perfume of the Kasbah behind it, offset by a collection of digital squeaks and trills. It's a bona fide bar-raiser.
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Tracklist: Battles - Dross Glop 1 A Wall Street (Gui Boratto Remix)
B Sweetie & Shag (The Field Remix)