For an instrumental electronic-based band, especially one that remixes both hip-hop
classics and contemporaries such as Bjork, Ratatat shows a surprising respect
for concision. The obviously named LP3 from the New York duo of Mike Stroud and Evan Mast crams thirteen tracks into
just over 42 minutes, and a few of the best (dub reggae “Flynn”; the Eastern-flavored “Mumtaz Khan”) hover around the two-minute mark.
From a distance, LP3 works as engaging background music, interesting enough to focus on now and then
but unobtrusive enough not to be a distraction. Up close or through earphones,
it becomes a sampler in styles. “Mirando” blends reggae bass, Bollywood guitars,
fuzzed-out beats and a synth sound that could come from an ‘80s TV theme.
“Brulee” tricks out tropical bachelor pad nostalgia with shivery distortions. A
few tracks drift without reaching a destination, and sometimes it seems Ratatat
can’t choose between striving for the experimental wildness of, say, Battles
and the overt pop accessibility of Daft Punk. But listen closely and the middle
ground the band tills contains fertile details.
Standout Tracks: “Brulee,” “Mirando”