It still feels a bit silly to call Ratatat an electronic project, even if they're heavily based around laptops, because their aesthetic is much more inclined toward pop hooks than most of the other dudes shifting samples around in Ableton. Sure, those guitar arpeggios may come out sounding like old video game beeps, but the melodies are always simple and unusually up-front, sometimes to the point of detrimental monotony. This is why they were a fine choice for left-field producers on Kanye protege Kid Cudi's recent debut, but for an even more compelling display of nerdcore virtuosity you'd do well to check out their two-volume mixtape series, which sets verses by Biggie and Jay-Z to some of their earliest beats. Even if it doesn't always stand up on its own for more than a minute or two, texturally speaking this is one of the most compelling new mainstream instrumental voices of the past few years.
With DOM and Bobby Birdman.
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