"Knew No Different" by Batsch

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"Knew No Different" by Batsch

Review

Please look out for another release by Batsch: "Knew No Different". Like most of their activity, since they come from the underground, they tend to take me by surprise. Which is half the pleasure.

When I put on my "big picture" hat, I more & more see the influence of Batsch is so many of the most interesting local bands (and on a parallel track I often wonder what the situation would look like had Deathsex Bloodbath not visited from their planet). I don't mean their sound as such, but the general approach for having the confidence and courage to experiment & be unique yet never losing the ability to transcend any danger of self-indulgence and remain in contact with audiences. It's a hard road but I think that Batsch blazed a trail which others are following to great effect.

Being an influence is a long way from those who seek to influence (they won't be people I'll be writing about) and for those operating without artistic fear nor under any burden of expectation, then it must be creatively liberating.

That frees you to compose & develop to your own timetable & drop the results when it best suits you as has happened here.

Now, as with the preceding "Too Few", the band is a duo, Mason Le Long, and Matt Rheeston and they've even managed a live outing (at The Tin, with Michal Jan and Immortal Onion last month).

"Knew No Different" thus is unencumbered by anything which might impede what they want to do & jumps straight into something refreshingly new (even for them) while sticking to the Batsch philosophy (as distinct from formula) of "freaky & catchy".

Deconstructing it is both beyond my capabilities and desires: this is definitely one you need to process for yourselves. There is something that might be a guitar or it might be some exotic non-European stringed instrument. It's pretty clearly got strings anyhow. The drums loom large (and I gather that Matt led on creating the song) and as they are tuned, offer aspects of the melody as well as a rhythm that only a really gifted percussionist could dare hope to follow yet excites in the less skilled listener a sense of wonder at where it's going to skitter off to next. On top of that Matt's vocal does a variety of things as well as delivering the lyrics: if the drums get to feature melodically, the singing repays the gesture in contributing to parts of the rhythm. The only single comparison I could spot was that it's no surprise how closely they work with Duke Keats: both seem to be exploring what each element of the arrangement is actually capable of.

And that's the easy part of the description. Various other instruments & samples suddenly appear and depart constantly. It's very unsettling (don't be looking for any verse/chorus/verse structure here) but that keeps one engaged with the track. And once again, this is not self-indulgence: the track is infectious in its own cheerfully idiosyncratic way.

 

Viva Batsch.

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