Ratatat are back. Guitarist Mike Stroud and bass/synth/production maestro Evan Mast have come a long way since 2004. Back then, all they really needed was one decent hook they could stick on repeat, with small splashes of variation, to achieve a sort of hypnotic effect. The trickiest aspect of creating good instrumental music is making sure it can hold the listener’s interest. To stay interesting, Ratatat had to evolve. With barely any vocals, and without the basic verse-chorus-verse structure used by 99% of popsters on the radio, this kind of electronic music needs some kind of special magnetic pull. So does LP4 have what it takes? Absolutely. This shit may be instrumental, but it isn’t elevator music. Right from the get-go with the opener “Bilar,” it’s clear that Ratatat is as far from Kenny G as you’re going to get. “Bilar” starts with air-raid drone guitars and segues into a shifty, shuffling trip-hop beat with dark, in-and-out flashes of analog synth, strummed guitar, and swirling strings. It’s a complex piece of music, one theme folding into another before cycling back to the opening melody with somber cellos. Read full review at

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