Juice B Crypts by Battles

Having attracted some criticism for their indifferent last outing four years ago, experimental rock enthusiasts Battles drop their fourth studio album, which presses the reset button on expectations once again. Which is to say, there's only two of them now. Juice B Crypts is a veritable whirlwind of sonics and features collaborations with Shabazz Palaces and tUnE-YaRdS.

Limited Vinyl Double LP £21.00 WARPLP301X

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Vinyl Double LP £21.99 WARPLP301

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REVIEWS

Juice B Crypts by Battles
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Will 10 October 2019

It's Battles! Y'all know Battles, right? They're the shapeshifting poster-boys of the experimental world that collect genres like the child catcher from ;Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; collects kids. They created 'Atlas' which isn't in my Desert Island Discs First X1 is certainly pushing for a place in the B-team reserves. Anyway, they're back with a bang in the form of 'Juice B Crypts', an album that is almost as fun and bewildering as the name itself. 

If this album has a sound it's the crunchy drums with a nice bit of room reverb you can hear on 'Ambulance' and 'Titanium 2 Step'. Lots of this album feels rooted in John Stanier's staccato hip-hop breakbeat kinda sound. 'Juice B Crypts' is a hugely dense record. Dissonance, Jaki Liebezeit drums, strident horns, and mad pitch-shifting sit side by side, and often that's just on one song. 

God this album is funky. Battles have always been a funkin' funky band but their sense of groove has been channeled in different ways, like the hectic math rock of 'Mirrored' or the machine-rendered experimental rock of 'Gloss Drop'. Battles are having fun, they're willing to push loops as far as they'll go and play with the weirdest sample they can find. The synth on 'They Played It Twice' sounds like a cat has found its way onto Ian Williams' Ableton Push and is having a good roll around. 

Battles albums usually have one track that channels all the good elements of the album into one blast of white-hot magnificence. On 'Mirrored' it's 'Atlas', and on 'Gloss Drop' it's 'Ice Cream'. On 'Juice B Crypts' it's 'Titanium 2 Step' which features Sal Principato, y'know, the Liquid Liquid guy! I love this song so much, you've got Sal doing his strangulated vocal thing ('nnnnoooo!', 'mmalright!'), a groove that's as tightly-wound as a spring, and demented loops that worm their way into your frontal cortex. 'Juice B Crypts' is an album that's immaculately rendered but has the feel and groove of joyous improvisation.  




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