Electro-hip hop insurgents Ratatat set for UK tour
‘Mogwai taught us how to drink beer like a professional rock stars’
‘Mogwai taught us how to drink beer like a professional rock stars,’ says Ratatat’s synth‘n’bass extraordinaire Evan Mast. ‘We’d be lost without them.’
He speaks of a Japanese tour that united the rousing twain back in 2006: Mogwai the post-rock leviathans; Ratatat the electro-hip hop insurgents. ‘It was our first time playing shows in Japan so the whole thing was pretty amazing and bizarre.’
The NYC duo are no strangers to the amazing or bizarre, of course. Take their latest long-player, LP4 (XL), which gives a parakeet a starring role. It belongs to Ratatat’s axe-battering other half, Mike Stroud. ‘Her name is Fellini,’ clarifies Mast. She may even sing at their US live shows. ‘She’s coming on tour with us,’ he assures.
There are other non-zoological charms about LP4, however – Middle-Eastern percussion and art-house film riffs, for example. ‘Yeah, and we worked with a string quartet on this record, which sets it apart [from their three prior studio albums]. We approached the songwriting differently too: there’s a lot of very immediate ideas and improvised parts on the record,’ Mast explains. ‘To me it’s a more complex album than anything we’ve made previously.’
His pummelling deuce comes to Edinburgh as part of a European tour. What supplies have they packed to stave off tour bus ennui? ‘I bought a bunch of books about film directors – Ingmar Bergman, Rohmer, Truffaut,’ catalogues Mast, who has a rather more pressing culinary concern. ‘You can’t find good avocados in Europe. European guacamole is a joke.’
Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, Sun 28 Nov