Battles performing live at Scala, May 17
photo by Andrew Crowe
Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Todayâ€™s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is â€œAtlasâ€ by Battles from the 2007 release Mirrored, available on Warp Records.
Battles – Atlas (MP3)
For their first full-length album in their five-year history, Battles drew upon many influences. The band is comprised of Ian Williams of Don Caballero fame, Dave Konopka from Lynx, John Stanier from Helmet, and Tyondai Braxton, who has received several commissions from prestigious organizations in NY for his solo work. The music contains a myriad of sound sources and song structures in an attempt to separate the individual elements from their cultural affiliations. Originally, Battles was to include a chorus of female singers. However, it proved to be too difficult logistically and the voices would have borne the cultural affiliations the band tries to exclude. Instead, with the use of effects and call-and-response techniques, an eerie genderless choir is created. Battlesâ€™ brand of modern and accessible experimentalism combined with a relentless touring schedule have given Mirrored, one of the most ambitious albums in recent years, the attention it deserves. Learn more about the band in this video interview, and check out the bandâ€™s MySpace page for the latest information. Here’s a live performance of â€œAtlasâ€ from the Empty Bottle in Chicago on March 3: