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Brooklyn-based duo Ratatat’s second album sees them aiming for a less rambunctious strain of rocktronica, to winning effect. The big, boombox-friendly beats that womped through their debut are decelerated and spaced out into subtler, more dynamic drumlines on Classics, making for slick and unobtrusive dance rhythms. Funk (“Loud Pipes”), samples (check out the feral panther growls on “Wildcat”), and slick, zooming electric guitars (“Kennedy”) are all still here in abundance, just with a little more slow to their roll.

Customer Reviews

The greatest thing I have ever heard.

Ratatat's "Lex" off of this album is like a virus. It enters your body through your ears and swims through your bloodstream like a caffinated school of fish, immediately making it's way into your soul and makes you feel as if you are riding a musical rollercoaster if you close your eyes. It is a song that flexes all of Ratatat's muscles that releases a pure dump of dopamine and is the greatest thing I have EVER heard in my life. The only word that can describe it is omnipotent; I can listen to it thousands of times. With that said, Wildcat and Kennedy are also extremely brilliant. All of Ratatat's work is brain-meltingly powerful, thus proving amazing music does not always need lyrics.

Ratatat ROCKS!

My first acquaintance with Ratatat was when I got Kid CuDi’s album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day. One of my favorite songs on that album was Alive, which featured Ratatat. A friend of mine recommended that I listen to Classics by Ratatat, and I was not disappointed. As I traveled back home for break, Classics’ vibrant harmonics turned my rather dull train ride into a fantastic adventure.
Ratatat’s approach to music reminds me of early technosonic music (this is a part where I talk about electronic music history, if you don’t care about that then you can skip this paragraph). Ratatat’s songs are entirely instrumental (with the exception of a growling cat in the song “Wildcat”). Modern technosonic music is dominated by the use of samples, but this lack of sampling is reminiscent of the staunchly anti-sampling Electronische Musik. Herbert Eimert would have applauded these unadulterated tonal creations of Ratatat. But even though both the Electronische Music movement and Ratatat composed pieces solely through synthesized sounds, the two are quite different. Unlike the avant-garde German creations, Ratatat’s songs are structured around a central rhythm, which causes the music to sound more mainstream. Furthermore, Ratatat’s music is produced through familiar instruments (i.e. a bass guitar) rather than obscure noises created by computers and oscillators (used in Electronische Musik). Essentially Ratatat’s music relates to the tonal purism of the Electronische Music movement. This instrumental music, however; also reminds me of the electronic instruments that arose during the 1920’s (i.e. the Theremin), for these instruments played center stage in their respective pieces. In Classic there are no lyrics, fast-tempo beats, or disruptive samples. Every element in the composition is included to highlight the visceral effects of the synthesized guitars. Like the Clara Rockmore’s performances, the music of Ratatat is centered about that wonderful yet eerie quality produced by the electronic instruments.
Now why I liked Classics so much... Ratatat’s reliance on synthesized chords and heavy guitar distortion creates a layering of sounds that fills your auditory senses with waves of harmony. While listening to Classics, the buzzing guitar chords caused me to warm with delight. The effects of Classics are like a malaise tide of splendor. The tonal quality of the pieces I can best relate to Justice (who are also a great musical duo). Many of Justice’s song sound structurally similar to that of Ratatat’s, but Classics carries a mellower vibe than that of Justice. The calm demeanor is also another reason why I liked Classics. Unlike Drum n’ Bass, Trip-Hop, or Trance, Classics does not have a fast tempo or heavy beat. Classics chill tempo creates a defined structure that allows Ratatat to embark on a musical exploration, while still grounding the mind in a beat.
My favorite songs from Classics are “Lex”, “Loudpipes”, and “Nostrand”. As I write this review, I have the intro of “Loudpipes” stuck in my head. “Loudpipes” is the most popularly downloaded song from this album and for the right reasons. The song is composed of two themes: one with heavy guitar rifts and other with a chilling piano. The section with the guitar is characteristic of the other songs from the album. While listening to the guitar theme, I was filled with exuberance. The ascensions of chords seemed to steadily sweep me through piece. Juxtaposed with the synthesized guitar is the piano theme. The piano theme is somber and quite. During this theme, my mind took a break from the jovial quality of the guitar rifts, and turned to a more reflective state. Together these two themes create a masterpiece that is both uplifting and deep. “Loudpipes” is not the only great song in the album, but it does stand out.
Most of the songs on the album, however, don’t really seem to stand out, and maybe that is the biggest problem for the album. I liked Classics, because I enjoy listening to albums as a whole. The songs on classics are short (which is another downside), but they flow well together. There isn’t much of a noticeable difference between songs. Yes, the pieces have distinctive qualities, but after awhile parts of one song seem to blend with others. If you are thinking about buying a song from Classics, think about buying a few others, because the album works well as a whole. Furthermore, the album is only 10 songs and forty some minutes long, so it is kind of short. However, this shortness only makes you want Ratatat more. If I had to rate this album I would give it a 9.5/10. Classics is truly a classic!

Danny Sexbang

They need to release Loud Pipes with the Dan Avidan feature


Formed: 2001 in New York, NY

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formerly known as Cherry, New York's rock-meets-electronica duo Ratatat feature multi-instrumentalist/programmer Evan Mast and guitarist Mike Stroud. Mast was also the brains behind the pretty laptop pop of E*vax, and with his brother E*Rock he ran the indie electronic label Audio Dregs. Stroud also played, in the studio and on tour, with artists including Ben Kweller and Dashboard Confessional. Between these duties (and Mast's job as a graphic designer), the duo found time to work on their collaboration....
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Classics, Ratatat
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