Ratatat coming to town

20May09

We’re showing some brotherly love for C.A.M.A. who have persuaded Ratatat to come to Hanoi next week — for the unacquainted or unconvinced here’s an article that Teddy’s first cousin Frank Patterson penned for timeout  last week… 

Spotlight Ratatat LIVE.org

The Brooklyn-duo Ratatat are one of the most exciting music acts to ever come to Vietnam, so don’t miss their upcoming live shows in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, says Frank Patterson

Trying to describe the Ratatat sound, the music critic Richard Gintowt once wrote, “Maybe it’s just the shrieking panther samples, but listening to Ratatat can make a person feel like he’s creeping through a jungle and a dance party’s about to pounce.”

The Brooklyn-based duo frequently combine the incongruous to produce the sublime: rump-shaking beats with blips and bleeps, dual-lead-guitar shredding with blurts from an autoharp or a video game. If you had to come up with genre, you might settle for indie-electronic rock, but then you hear the harpsichord coming in…  

Guitarist Mike Stroud and synthesizer driver and producer Evan Mast, who met at Skidmore College, a private liberal arts third level institution in NYC, have now written, recorded and produced three critically acclaimed albums as Ratatat.

Long term expats cocooned from the alternative music world in Vietnam might not have even heard of Ratatat but their resumé includes references from pretty much every cutting edge act in the music business today. The Brooklyn pair has opened for Björk, Daft Punk,  Franz Ferdinand, CSS,  Super Furry Animals and The Killers, while their two remix-albums include killer re-workings of hip-hop classics by Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Kanye West, Missy Elliott and Dizzee Rascal.

For the live show expect to see a combination of live and electronic instrumentation as well mind-bending visuals. Ratatat concerts are constantly evolving as more new elements are added and old ideas are expanded or rehashed.

“I like the idea of taking the focus off the musicians and directing it to something more interesting,” said Mast in a recent interview with online music website Bandega. “We do so much layering and involve so many different sounds while recording that we can’t get away with doing the normal band setup, and at the same time we’ve always been against doing something like a laptop or DJ set.

“We’ve settled somewhere in between, but we’re always looking for ways to change it up and to allow for more freedom and spontaneity while we’re playing.”

So get ready Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, a Ratatat party is about to pounce, but don’t worry, all you have to do is dance.  

Ratatat will play Ho Chi Minh City on May 29 at Pacharan, 97 Hai Ba Trung (Free entrance, call 08 825 6024 for more info) and on May 30 at Thai Tu Ga – Drive over the Chuong Duong bridge and turn right, drive for 500m and it’s on your right. Tickets VND160,000. Doors open 8pm. Check out myspace.com/camavietnam for more details.  

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So there you have it folks, a gig not to be missed. Here’s a wee teaser, a brilliant remix of the Knife by the hirsute Brooklyn boys…

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