LP3 – Ratatat
By Aidan Roberts
Most musicians find a muse at various stages of their creative output, be it a single artist or a movement in music. It seems that with their third record, electro-duo Ratatat (Mike Stroud and Evan Most) have found a path back in time, finding their muse in the synth-prog soundtracks of the 1970’s. Sounding somewhere between Wakeman and Oldfield, and distinct shades of Jean-Michel Jarre, this is a cool and weird listen, surprisingly less clubby in feel than their previous material. There’s a melancholic lilt to opener Shiller, and the very impressive Mirando with its minor-key swells and infectious bass-lines. All the tracks carry this same wistful groove, which does leave it all bleeding together and coming across slightly same-y, but it’s still an engaging listen throughout. Helping to achieve their neo-transistor aesthetic, Ratatat put the record together old-school style – recording in a simple, remote recording studio, using little else than the studio’s treasure-trove collection of analogue synthesisers to build their army of sound. The limitations the band imposed on the recording, and their steer towards a more thoughtful form of electro-rock, has turned out satisfyingly vibrant music.