ALBUM TITLE: Magnifique ARTIST: Ratatat VINYL STATUS: New If, like me, you enjoy songs that make you want to launch into a full-scale montage (driving like a bad-ass, trying on clothes like a bad-ass, walking down the street like you’re in Reservoir Dogs like a bad-ass…etc.) – ladies and gentleman I present to you: ‘Ratatat’.
For those not familiar, Ratatat are a dynamic duo hailing from Brooklyn; Mike Stroud and Evan Mast started working together in 2001and have since spread their synthetic splendour across the likes of Coachella and Groovin the Moo.
‘Magnifique’ marks the fifth studio album for Ratatat, following up from 2010’s experimental ‘LP4’, and lays down a 14-track odyssey of slick and sultry proportions (including a cover of Springwater’s ‘I Will Return’), and I couldn’t resist adding this to my vinyl collection whilst idly wasting time in Newtown one Thursday afternoon.
The opening track (‘Intro’) brings a little classical-meets-Queen vibe before giving way to tunes oozing with casual chill (‘Cream on Chrome’) and understated fuzz (‘Abrasive’). And again for the unfamiliar, when you dabble in Ratatat you’re well and truly in instrumental country – there’s not a lyric in sight, but the clever use of sparse synth and piercing guitars combine at times to create the illusion of vocals.
The album propels itself with effortless cool to the finish, and the laid-back mood wouldn’t be out of place while you’re kicking back on a hammock drinking an umbrella-laden cocktail (especially with the steel-tinged ‘Supreme’). For some, this approach may not hold you to listen to the whole thing, especially if you’re prone to singing along in the car – but I guarantee this atmospheric little album will surprise you. Are they reinventing the Ratatat wheel? No. But they’re kicking butt at what they do best.
LABEL: XL Recordings Ltd GENRE: Electronic Rock/Neo-Psychadelica RELEASE DATE(S): July, 2015
BY TIANA SPETER