Rather than chase after past successes, Battles use La Di Da Di to begin something new. Williams, Konopka, and Stanier no longer even sound cognizant of Braxton’s absence. They prove on their third album that they don’t need any extra help to deliver exciting music. By all indications, they don’t need anyone else’s help in telling a compelling story, either — that all comes in the way they build and remove layers. They had one extra layer to work with when they had vocals, but they can just as easily add in another layer of synth or guitar. When they shuffle enough elements around on La Di Da Di, it’s a thrilling experience to try to keep up with.
Brand new recordings by the electronic duo together with the great AACM trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith ; joined by drummer Steve Noble