We’re having a resurgence in things synthetic, and Ratatat is keeping the marching beat. Based on fat round analog keyboards and plushly fuzzed guitars, with a minimal digital beat to measure out time, Ratatat have an instrumental sound that teeters between the grandiose and expressive, aggressive at times, peaceful and soothing others, sometimes within the same song. I can easily see a phalanx of robots stomping down Pennsylvania Avenue to the beat of “Seventeen Years.” Other tracks, like “Crips” with its swelling chords and heartbeat tempo, are better suited for preparing young assemblies for their nightly shutdown and maintenance. This reminds me of Emperor Penguin, which is a somewhat obscure reference, but entirely dead-on.
XL Recordings: www.xlrecordings.com