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Ratatat's Back

The New York duo return with a new album and a whole lot of birds...

After whirlwind touring and recording, Ratatat are set to be breaking new barriers with their fourth album on XL Recordings this June. Playing with new unexpected experimental sounds, Evan Mast and Mike Stroud made 'LP4' straight after their prolific recording sessions in rural upstate New York for their third album. 'LP4' however, has been described as a 'weirder' listen than 'LP3', with a new approach to the structures of the tracks.

Incorporating never-used-before sounds and instruments into the mix and working with a full string section, the album also features a number of spoken word interludes, one taken from Werner Herzog's 1977 film Stroszek and the rest of the samples courtesy of Linda Manz, the child actress in Terence Mallick’s 1978 classic Days of Heaven. Whilst trying to clear the spoken word sample from Days of Heaven, Mast unexpectedly ended up meeting with Linda herself where he recorded an interview with her, and the excerpts make up the remaining vocal snippets.

Dazed Digital: How does the new stuff compare to the old stuff?
Ratatat: It's kind of a logical step forward, the new record was made immediately after the last record, so we were really deep into song writing at that point, experimenting with new ideas - song structures are really different, more complicated, more textural and layered. song we never used before. In terms of vocals, we probably won't ever have those for our records, just to keep it like, pure.

DD: So it's all live instruments on the album? How do you two work together?
Ratatat: Mostly, there's a lot of synthesizers and often we write a part and play it rather than programming. We generally just record, the two of us and nine times out of ten start with a beat, and then engineer it.

DD: Any dream collaborations?
Ratatat: Loads yeah, we would like to work with a lot of rappers, Li'l Wayne would be fun, Giggs - who we're on the same label with so maybe we could sort something out. But remixes, we've got nothing in the works, haven't done any in a while...

DD: What's with the birds on the record/artwork?
Ratatat: That's my bird - she was in the studio with us when we made the record, so we kinda put her there. You can hear her in the record, her sounds - so we sampled the bird. In the track Grape Juice City- you can really hear her wings flapping and make like trippy sounds. She creeps into a bunch of tracks, 'cause she's just really noisy. We had her cage set up next to the piano, so in the background you can hear her.

DD: What's next?
Ratatat: Touring over the summer, the shows in New York compared to London are a lot bigger. They're local for us so the producion is a lot crazier- whereas overseas the set up is a lot more basic. It's nice having a mix to have shows in Europe smaller than the US, and we were in Asia, playing this tiny like Spanish restaurant in Vietnam - so it's nice to have both.

LP4 is out on XL Recordings on June 7th