Another one for a little controversy: Is it a masterstroke? Is it the opposite? On »La Di Da«, Battles’ third record (and their second one as a trio), they come along as familiarly playful and complex, so that it seems as if nothing has changed. And yet, their appearance, or rather their sound, has been altered, even though Jon Stanier still solves rhythmical math problems, drumming their solution with brutal accuracy, and even though it’s still easy to spot the spinning and repetitive sounds by his colleagues Ian Williams and Dave Konopka. Nevertheless, the instruments come along much more electronically, being exposed to a permanent treatment. At parts, it’s hard to tell if someone is picking a guitar or a bass or if they’ve just turned on the synthesizer. While this doesn’t impair their team play as long as they all act in concert – wild as it may be –, it seems to come to friction losses when they change the direction in the middle of a track. Out of a sudden, there are reggae grooves or silly changes of melody, so that some ideas appear too artificial to be spontaneous or natural (yet crazy) consequences. The result leaves me baffled: On the one hand, Battles are as true to themselves as maybe never before, on the other hand, they are almost erratically distracted.