Who? Producer Evan Mast and guitarist Mike Stroud met when they were students at Skidmore College but didn’t start operating as Ratatat until their post-grad years found them writing and recording instrumental electronica tunes out of Mast’s bedroom in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Having already toured with the likes of Interpol and Clinic, it’s no wonder the duo carefully throb out dynamic and darkly melodic songs on their self-titled release.
What’s the Deal? Ratatat’s expansive album teems with expert indie electronica grooves that tinker with various textures and contrasting tones. “Lex” is led by swirling synth whooshes, “Gettysburg” by rubbery pulses ballasted against hollow beats, and “Wildcat” by panther yowls. And like a fierce feline ready to pounce, “Wildcat” — with its chiming guitar cutting though underwater electro burbles and maracas-resounding shuffles chopping up buttery bass lines — is charged with intensity just waiting to be unleashed.
Fun Facts: Ratatat are responsible for remixing Swedish indie pop quintet Shout Out Louds’ peppy single “The Comeback” into a groove-heavy gem (read more). If Stroud isn’t working on remixing other bands, he might be playing with them, as the guitarist has plucked strings for Ben Kweller and Dashboard Confessional. JULIA SIMON
Now Hear This: Ratatat – “Wildcat” (Download MP3)
Talk: Is “Wildcat” more purr or pounce? COMMENT
On the Web: ratatatmusic.com