Ratatat – LP3 [Review by Sixtyten]

On October 29, 2008, in culture, review, by Dr Hitchcock

Ratatat are back with their signature sound, and LP3 delivers the goods. This album ventures into more diverse territory than Classics, with a less rock based approach, as LP3 confidently flirts with different styles, world instruments and synths.

Instrumental albums have to work harder to maintain your interest. These songs are all short, but they include a multitude of instruments and samples so small details are revealed on repeat listens, meaning the music stays fresh. In true Ratatat style, the vibe is playful and fun. It gives you a simple childlike thrill. Imagine Boards of Canada playing Daft Punk’s Discovery album backed by a live Hawaiian lounge band and you’re getting close to the Ratatat sonic extravaganza. Epic hair-rock guitar melodies are churned out from what sounds like a Hot Licks 80s key-tar, and it always sounds like two or three instruments are being played both backwards and forwards simultaneously. If I had kids I’d be blowing their little minds with this shit at birthday parties like my parents did to me with the Beatles. Swooning keyboards over gentle glitch hop beats join with playschool melodies and snippets of wailing guitar; it’s how each song deviates slightly that adds to the flavour.

Mirando is immediately catchy. It blips and bleeps and grooves like a shambling gypsy circus, then rocks out a classic virtuoso solo straight from Ywangie Malmsteen’s school of rock. Shempi has a disco beat and swirling ABBA synths. Imperials employs harpsichord for maximum drama, a gurgling water sample and chugging 70s riffs, before it goes all ambient with violins. Dura kicks it with kooky Addams Family keyboards and a chugging muted guitar groove over bongos, before the compulsory solo busts in and swirls out backwards into the ether. Mumtaz Khan goes on an Arabic excursion with snake charmer bells and Tabla percussion, before a raunchy Van Halen solo! The album’s shorter songs are just as eccentric and catchy. Flynn has a bouncy reggae beat and a catchy use of “Oohs”. Gipsy Threat sounds like the soundtrack to a Laurel & Hardy slapstick routine, and Brulee has a chilled Hawaiian groove.

LP3 has no weak tracks, and it explores different styles all the while staying cohesive as a whole. It is a great mood enhancer, and my only gripe is that it’s too short!

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