Interview: Ratatat Taps Into Orchestral Roundabout John Fortunato September 17, 2008 Interviews Perhaps more profoundly, the melodious classical rock techniques of Electric Light Orchestra become motifs for several triumphal numbers. The glistening introductory gamma rays penetrating noir-ish opening dirge, “Shiller,” friskily pilfer ELO’s magnum opus, “Fire On High.” And swaying oscillated interlude, “Brulee,” would fit nicely next to the best atmospheric illuminations on the Brit-pop combo’s late-‘70s Out Of The Blue escapade. “I love ELO, but I didn’t have them in mind for ‘Brulee.’ I remember the first night Evan played me a couple of beats and that stuck out in my mind. I thought we were gonna go a different route with it but we put these happy sounding chords over it and it sounded kind of funny,” Stroud claims. He then deduces, “We wanted a psychedelic reggae-ish vibe.” Just as intriguingly retrospective, “Gipsy Threat” beams in like an alien transmission from outer space, re-imaging Joe Meek’s fascinatingly innovative vacillating cybernetic flanges— magnified to perfection on the Tornadoes futuristic ’62 mega-hit, “Telstar.” Nonetheless, don’t expect any gypsy-cultured references beyond its intimidating designation. Notwithstanding such interrogative ambiguousness, the delineation between real life Egyptian yank “Munitaz Khan” and the source material embodying the previously perused homage seems well suited for a friendly rug salesman’s theme. Stroud explains, “We’d walk into Catskill—an upper New York town where there was nothing. It’s secluded —a half hour from the original Woodstock concert. We took a walk on Main Street and found an Indian rug store. We visited it a lot while recording. The owner would invite us back to his office, give us free huge Indian dinners, and tell us crazy stories. We took its title from him.” He goes on to say, “There was an instrument in the studio that you could put on a record—thin vinyl —with samples of organ and there’s an organ where you can play them. So we put a bunch of these records on top of each other and ended up with a bunch of organ-moog sounds. To me, it relates to Bollywood. And it has a ‘Hotel California’-like guitar solo.” In the live setting, Ratatat enlists the help of Stroud’s pal, Martin, to handle organ, augmenting and magnifying their already illusionary musicality. Accordingly, future recordings and live shows may get other people involved. But a radical departure in style does not appear imminent. Maybe they’ll find some guest vocalists to spark up new musical ideas. Commendable remixes for a diverse array of artists including old school rapper Biz Markie, weirdo Icelandic diva Bjork, and sly Brit-rockers Television Personalities are already available to consume. LP3 is available now. Ratatat will play Manhattan’s Terminal 5 on Saturday, Sept. 27. For more info, visit ratatatmusic.com Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.