Synthesizer driver Evan Mast and guitarist Mike Stroud, otherwise known as Ratatat, are classical composers for a brilliant new future. They have collected and utilized an array of old- and new-fangled tools to create layered, digitally altered masterpieces to play in the deep recesses of mind space. We haven’t seen anything like this since some hairy dudes gathered a bunch of sticks together and took a spark to them. In short, they show us possibilities for where music can go if we maximize our potential for ingenuity.
Your background: The two musicians met at college and later got together under the name Cherry. In 2004 they released a self-titled debut, which was recorded on a Powerbook in a Brooklyn apartment. This, by the way, is some of the best music I have ever heard. It is crisp and soulful at the same time, which is hard to come by, like robots programmed for interpretive dance. Their genius is in the fact that this complicated music does not come off as stilted or over-bearing, although their tunes can contain up to 70 tracks of stuff coming at you. It never seems forced. They use a funky beat, an inventive melody, and some sounds that you have never imagined, in order to move the crowd, so to speak.
Two other full lengths that are just as good have followed, including last year’s LP3, but I think the most interesting things they have done are their hip hop remix tapes, which take the vocal tracks of contemporary pop-hop artists, such as Missy Elliot, Jay Z, Kanye, Bun B, etc., and completely rework the instrumentals into masterpieces that give the originals an entirely new slant. Even Biggie Smalls (RIP) gets reinvented here, and he is so much the better for it. These two mixtapes are definite must-haves. If they were really cassette tapes, instead of MP3s, I probably would have melted them by now from playing them so much.
The most interesting thing about their date at the Zhijiang Dream Factory, May 21st, (other than the fact that Ratatat is going to play Shanghai) is to guess how this performance will play out. Consider this quote from aninterview they gave to the Fader:
There are all kinds of acoustic instruments on the new record. How are you dealing with that (live)?
Mike: Samples…I’m going to be playing electric guitar, any percussion that we can and live recordings, and the beats went through samples and stuff.
Do you ever think that, even once, it would be better to have everything accounted for by a live human?
Mike: Yeah, that would be amazing.
So why not do that?
Mike: It’s not practical, we’d have to get like nine guitar players, I don’t know.
I don’t think they will be bringing the nine guitarists along, but I imagine you can expect electric guitars, synthesizers, a laptop or seven, as well as a battalion of percussion instruments, and (if their web pictures can be trusted) a couple of guys with rainbows shrouding their eyes. I will see you there.
演奏合成器的Evan Mast和吉他家Mike Stroud，也被称为Ratatat，是具有一个灿烂的未来的经典作曲家。 他们收集并用了一序列旧和新的工具来创作一种应在头脑的深处里演奏的分层、数字化改变的杰作。从些长发的人采集并点燃了几条树枝以后,我们没看到过这么全新的事情。他们让我们明白只要把自己的匠心潜力增加到最大限度音乐就会得到的效果。
虽然后来的两张唱片(包括去年的《LP3》)也算好，可是我觉得他们制作的最有趣的是他们的Hip-hop混音唱片。他们用现代Pop-hop艺术家，例如Missy Elliot，Jay Z，Kanye, Bun B等来制作让原本更有趣的杰作。连Biggie Smalls都被重新创作，可比原来的好得多。 这两张混音唱片实在是不可或缺的。假如这些音轨不是MP3而是磁带,那么它们一定会因为被我过度使用而熔化。