[phlipcam video] Battles @ Royale

If the departure of Tyondai Braxton has effected BATTLES' sound in the least, that's news to me. Admittedly, I haven't spent enough time with their newish LP, Gloss Drop, to really make a statement regarding its validity in comparison to Mirrored, which was on some other shit entirely. But when placed alongside material from the debut in a live setting, as it was last night at Royale, their new stuff holds its own.

When Braxton left the band, so did his wholly unique vocal contributions. And instead of the next best singer in the group stepping up to the plate, the remaining members made the far more intelligible move of recruiting a cast of guest vocalists, which includes tech-house minimalist Matias Aguayo, Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead, Yamantaka Eye of Boredoms, and motherfucking Gary Numan. For this tour, they had each of those contributors record a video of them singing their lyrics. Played back in combination with an Enter the Void-esque light display and the band's tendency to absolutely mash their instruments in the best way possible, it was rather easy to overlook the absence of the forlorn enigmatic guitarist.

Above video is some phlipcam footage of "Atlas." Evidence that the old material sounds just as menacing as it ever did.

Also worth a mention is WALLS, the opening duo who glossed over the ballroom real nice with their fresh take on spatial techno. Their new album is streaming over here and it's just as beautiful as the cover suggests. I would've taken some video of their set, but it was a two guys playing guitar and fidling with gadgetry in the dark. Close your eyes and listen to the stream. You'll get the idea.

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