Local Wire

Ratatat @ The Venue Scottsdale

What's the most significant thing you've ever accomplished on your laptop? Paid off a credit card? Logged a seven-letter word on Scrabulous? Constructed your first-rate Evite? Hey, no judgments — that shit's great. It just doesn't have the staying power of Ratatat, the 2004 self-titled debut disc that guitarist Mike Stroud and keyboardist-producer Evan Mast ingeniously cobbled together on Stroud's old Mac PowerBook. Layered with slicing guitar riffs, hip-hop-style sequencing, and the Brooklyn duo's signature reverse-warped Mellotron overdubs, the album yielded tracks like "Seventeen Years" and "Germany to Germany" and loudly proclaimed Ratatat as one of indie rock's great instrumental treasures — an act admired by rave-minded sensualists and indie-rock elitists alike. Three albums later, with a high-profile Kid Cudi collaboration and Late Night with David Letterman appearance behind them, Stroud and Mast remain cross-genre darlings, even if their last two long-plays — titled, logically, LP3 (2008) and LP4 (2010) — lacked some of the raw infectiousness of Ratatat and their even-better encore, Classics (2006).

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Craig Outhier