Monday, 31 October 2011

Battant - As I Ride With No Horse



This article also appears on www.soundsxp.com 



The time since Battant's 2009 debut album 'No Head' must have been challenging to say the least. Originally a trio, these past two years have seen Tim Fairplay quit to pursue a solo career, leaving the duo of Chloe Raunet and Joel Denver to work on the tracks that make up sophomore effort 'As I Ride With No Horse'. Tragically, in between the album being completed and its store date, Joel Denver passed away aged just 25, making the record's release a crushingly bittersweet one and rendering the usual means of promotion, such as gigging and interviews, practically impossible.

Aside from the obvious reason, this is also a huge shame because 'As I Ride With No Horse' is a work that deserves its arrival to be marked with a little fanfare. Battant's sound has always been tricky to pigeonhole and although a sizeable portion of the electronics have now been removed, this remains the case. The minimalist approach may draw comparisons to The xx and there is a certain amount of breathing space around the instrumentation, but Battant are an altogether darker, more twisted proposition, sharing a similar approach to the style-mashing art-rock of The Kills. Where that band operate with a studied, try-hard cool, this seems far more natural.

Single 'Shutter' uses organic beats (much of the album is the synthetic variety) and a cascading riff to create a real highlight, indicating that they may have had a more mainstream future ahead of them. Elsewhere they cover subjects such as sexual discrimination in the workplace ('Modern Days') and sexually deprived farmers ('Farmer's Ode To Wife'). This album has an almost otherworldly, psychedelic feel to it, yet not in the conventional sense. It's surreal rather than druggy, clean and minimal rather than a distorted wall of sound and concise and to the point rather than meandering. This may be Battant's swan song but you're left hoping that, in one form or another, Chloe can continue to forge ahead down this unique musical path.


battant-shutter by killthedjrecords

Battant's website

Buy the album.






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