Watch & Review: Batsch - Celina

BATSCH Though not without its abstract moments, notably the whimsical breakdown, ‘Celina’ is an obvious call as the leading track from Batsch’s skittish new EP, ‘Collar’, being as close to conventional pop as the band care to venture. Atop a slippery, octave-jumping bassline wriggling in a lo-fi web of art-school funk and pale high-life, singer Mason Le Long’s temperate vocal gives the groove its grip. His “Be gentle as you can be” refrain is apt, as there can’t be many aspiring floor-fillers that sound so polite. Quirky, cool and a little detached, ‘Celina’ belongs in the club, but as more of a glassy reflection of proceedings in the glitterball than hip-grinding on the dancefloor itself. Elsewhere on the EP, ’22’ is built around Joe Carvell’s gravelly baseline set just awry of a sparse beat, some shrill synth from Andy Whitehead and Le Long’s musings on love gone stale. It’s enjoyably skeletal, lightweight dub, as if Mad Professor set to work on Haircut 100. That percussive bass leads the way again on the darker ‘Did You Here About Argine’, while ‘Mirrorball’ is so pared-down it even dispenses with the trademark bass before its discordant crescendo. EP closer ‘Can’t Tell’ is perhaps the most demented, as each band member packs plenty to the bar, but in such a frantic and featherlight manner it’s like listening to a marching piece for mice. It’s music that tickles. There’s knowledge to Batsch’s experimental mania on ‘Collar’, delivering some fine passages of sound, if no real knockout tunes. Yet the tracks unfold entirely unpredictably, and for that this Midlands four-piece deserve a big hand. Cue the video…

Collar is out now on Tin Angel

Words Nick Mee: Follow @Nickjmee on Twitter