Order your powdered wigs, Mike Stroud and Evan Mast, because if Ratatat’s music gets any more baroque, you’ll be performing in poodle curls and satin coattails. Or as half-naked drummers, or conducting an insect orchestra, all of which one can imagine in the studio for LP4 (their fourth, uh, LP), out June 8. The electro duo go balls out on the flutes, harpsichord, piano, and strings on this album, recorded at the same time as last year’s LP3. Stroud incorporates fugue melodies into his guitar lines and Mast structures each song with a distinct movement. But, this being Ratatat, a harpsichord and guitar ditty flows in and out of frantic tribal beats on album standout “Bob Ghandi,” and encircle theremin bloops and video game blips on “Party With Children.” The Catskills recording location features into summery “Sunblocks” with a calming cricket chorus that bleeds into Indo-Celtic strings and woodblock arangments on “Bare Feasts.” Rounding out the world tour is the Hawaiin slide guitar of laid-back “Mahalo,” and urban funk of “Grape Juice City.” The strongest case for Ratatat’s classical chops comes on album closer “Alps.” Just remember that “baroque” is an anglicized version of the Italian word for “bizarre.”
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