Review: Battles’ Dross Glop

Battles: Dross Glop (Warp, 4/17/12)

“Rolls Bayce (Hudson Mohawke Remix)”

As a companion to last year’s Gloss Drop, the inversely titled Dross Glop consists entirely of BattlesGloss Drop music reworked by the likes of Hudson Mohawke, The Alchemist, Kode9, Shabazz Palaces, Gang Gang Dance, Gui Boratto, and more. Given the band’s unpredictable creative trajectory to this point, it’s no surprise that the distinctive electro-rock trio has released something to induce head-scratching among existing fans and electronica fans alike.

Stacked with propulsive grooves, the highly rhythmic Gloss Drop surely would have made suitable fodder for breakbeats and a conventional dance-floor makeover. Indeed, the remix album (a collection of the four Dross Glop 12-inch releases) does contain some perversely appealing moments that illustrate what a “Battles in the club”-type culture clash would sound like.

As such, some of Dross Glop falls more closely within established boundaries than Battles fans may come to expect. Still, even in residual traces, the band’s oft-heralded oddness manages to shine through. More compellingly, some of the new interpretations bear no resemblance whatsoever to their original counterparts. Without a look at the track listing, listeners at times will be hard-pressed to match what they’re hearing with a specific tune from Gloss Drop.

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