Mark Hoppus' Pick of the Week: Ratatat

ratatat.jpg
Ratatat / Photo by James Keni
WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

When he's not commandeering the stage as the boisterous bassist for SoCal punks Blink-182, Tweeting wisdom to more than 1.6 million followers, or handling album production duties for bands like Motion City Soundtrack and New Found Glory, you'd think Mark Hoppus would turn down the music.

Not. Possible.

In our continuing series, Hopp on Pop, Hoppus is sharing his favorite acts, culled from his incessant pursuit of all that rocks. (Click here to discover Mark's previous picks: Swedish electronic whiz Kleerup, Philly hipsters Free Energy, Aussie expats the Temper Trap, Brooklyn keyboard punks Matt & Kim, Kiwi dance rock goddess Ladyhawke, Canadian rock duo Japandroids, and NYC popsters fun.) Check out his sixth entry below, and come back to SPIN.com every Wednesday for Mark's latest discovery.

Be sure to follow more of Mark's opinions and exploits via Twitter and on his blog! And check out Mark's 8 Favorite Albums of 2009!

RATATAT

HOMETOWN:
Brooklyn, New York

THE BASICS:
Multi-instrumentalist Evan Mast and guitarist Mike Stroud met as students at Skidmore College and began making music under the Ratatat moniker in the early '00s. While they've toured with indie stalwarts like Interpol and remixed Shout Out Louds and Bjork, the duo also has a deep love of hip-hop, having produced tracks for Kid Cudi, among others. Their detailed, often dark electronic rock has spanned three albums, most recently 2008's LP3. The duo's fourth album -- unsurprisingly titled LP4 -- is due this Spring.

WHERE HOPP HEARD THEM FIRST:
"I had the Kid Cudi record since it came out and loved the songs that they produced for him -- 'Alive (Nightmare)' and 'Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)' -- but didn't know who they were. Then I went on iTunes and bought their album."

WHY THEY ROCK:
"Their programming is amazing. There are no vocals, yet still they manage to make instrumental songs memorable and interesting, which is difficult to do. I think they're very creative. It sounds like they're great at mixing synthetic sounds, and it seems like they record original sounds and then use them in programming, which is a special talent. The guitar leads are really catchy as well."

HOPP'S TOP TRACK:
"'Mirando.' That song instantly stuck out the first time I heard it. I went online to research it and I think all the footage from the video is from Predator. It's one of those '80s sci-fi militaristic kind of movies. They have these dudes getting shot up, but they play it backwards and forwards so it looks like they're dancing but they're really getting shot apart.

LISTEN: Ratatat, "Mirando"(DOWNLOAD MP3)

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