Ratatat, 'LP3' (XL)

7
LP3
Critical Mass
Label: XL

by Andrew Earles

Guitarist Mike Stroud and multi-instrumentalist Evan Mast give their subtly textured, rockist electronica a more festive, uplifting mood on the duo's third album. With beats mixed loudly but programmed casually, Stroud's soloing wraps '70s arena-rock fretwork (think Boston) in a gauze of '80s new-wave production, seamlessly meshing with the album's many addictive surprises, including rickety skiffle("Mirando"), reggae flirtations ("Flynn"), and moody electro bubblegum ("Shempi"). LP3 is as wildly organic as instrumental electronica gets without becoming another genre (or five) altogether.

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