Release Date: Jul 8, 2008
Record label: Beggars XL
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Electronic
Three albums into their career, it’s increasingly unclear why Evan Mast and Mike Stroud of Ratatat aren’t yet super-producers. This time on LP3, the instrumental duo layer an eclectic batch of sounds — Latin guitars and thumping tablas on ”Mi Viejo,” shimmering chimes and squealing synths on ”Mumtaz Khan” — into their most dazzling patterns yet. And while these beats keep you hooked without a single word, surely they’d sound phenomenal with the right vocals on top.
On their eponymous debut, the members of Ratatat made their guitars sound like synthesizers, and the resultant electro/hip-hip/rock hybrid made them instant darlings of the blogosphere. They expanded on their sound for 2006's Classics, which scored them an opening slot for Daft Punk and a subsequent world tour. LP3 marks a further departure from their original method.
On Ratatat's first two albums, the duo of Mike Stroud (guitar) and Evan Mast (programming/various instruments) developed a unique sound. Lodged in the sweet spot between hard rock (spiraling dual-guitar leads, crunching beats) and bedroom electronica (squirmy synths and lots of lo-fi invention), they crafted memorable songs with soaring melodies and huge hooks. On LP3 the duo has kept its unique guitar sound and the hooks but made a few subtle changes.
With its ambitious cross-cultural rhythmic palate and the strongest melodies to date, Ratatat's LP3 is practically begging for MCs to jack and loop a beat in order to complete the cycle. In addition to the two Brooklynites' history of composing the sort of catchy squiggles of sound on their self-titled debut and Classics, synthesizer visionary Evan Mast and guitar god Mike Stroud make no secret of their love for hip-hop. Their two self-released volumes of Ratatat Remixes, featuring original beats, stand up to vocal tracks from icons (Biggie), troublemakers (Devin the Dude) and even the most pop-oriented rhymers (Kanye West).