June 17, 2010

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Ratatat, LP4
XL Recordings, June 8
Never jump the gun. Owing to plastic-dumb similarities with Glitch Mob’s disgusting new album I got busy typing mean things (“autotune, bling, wave-modulation for the sake of wave modulation — I almost miss nu-rave, you know that?”) about this one three songs in and couldn’t stop, but then it changed and became a decent techno LP, go figure. My bad — I’ve been reviewing bad albums for a long time now, like a thousand human-years, so I’ve heard a lot of weird/pretty/ clever synth-gunk before, mostly from bands you’ve never heard of, because, unlike me, you had better things to do in the early-mid aughts than begging Warp Records for promo albums. At times like this I almost wish I hadn’t, but, yeah, unfortunately I can pronounce most authoritatively that LP4 is not the musical equivalent of capturing a black hole in a particle accelerator and getting it to dance the Macarena. That said, Ratatat is at least aware that hiphop has screwed itself up enough to have become one more Balkanized genre that many bands of the future will whip out sparingly here and there purely for eclecticism’s sake, and meanwhile, for their risky ’70s musicality alone, “Party With Children” and “Sunblocks” are more than tolerable, like Vampire Weekend as a soundsystem act. Similar product would be — oh, let’s not even go there. B+Eric W. Saeger