# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Ratatat - Classics

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 23 / 9 / 2006

Ratatat - Classics
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Powerful merging of clashing guitars and electronica on second album from experimental American duo, Ratatat

Ratatat's debut single was, as it turns out now, the blueprint for two entire Ratatat albums.One half of Ratatat is Evan Mast, whose brother Erik runs Portland's Audio Dregs label which released that said single 'Seventeen Years' in 2004.Ratatat's other half, Mike Stroud, obviously doesn't mind flogging an excellent formula. The better of the two albums is their latest, modestly called 'Classics'. Given their inherent handicap, a duo always faces the absence of an entire band backing them. Ratatat neatly solved that problem by transforming their trademark sound into a clichéd production method and it became a contemporary wall of sound. One day, this Ratatat formula will be referred to as a style, but today it would be best described as clashes of guitar over manipulated hiphop beats. On 'Classics' even The Beatles receive their own share of Ratatatting; as in 'Tropicana', the chords from 'I Am The Walrus' seem to have undergone dismemberment. The New York City band Rat At Rat R took similar lessons in a much harsher way, but it is worth mentioning their existence on the Neutral label in the early 1980's as faithful Glenn Branca disciples. In a sense, Ratatat do to Glenn Branca what William Burroughs did to texts and visions, as he was experimenting with his cut and paste ideas. None of the others mentioned are as funky as Ratatat - it's on XL after all. That Ratatat trick is relatively easy. You engage in a guitar duel and underneath of thàt you put on a couple of elektronica beats. Yet, even as 'Classics' again is like a collection of variations of 'Seventeen Years', these work to full effect on 'Classics' first time around. The blueprint - or concept as artists always refer to their ideas- became a method and the method then lead to further 'Classic' refinements. It's still this battle of two guitars crashing into one another though. Pretty much of a mind shattering experience this; and as long it may last - and that's between you and me; or rather between Audio Dregs and New York's Def Jam Records - 'Classics' could be just about the cleverest indie K-Tel release ever. Ripping off licks as if nobody ever cared less and then again, pasting these beyond any record label's advocate recognition, Ratatat have rearranged popular music. Just for a stint or a larf; this much should be known!

Track Listing:-
1 Montanita
2 Lex
3 Gettysburg
4 Wildcat
5 Tropicana
6 Loud Pipes
7 Kennedy
8 Swisha
9 Nostrand
10 Tacobel Canon

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