Ratatat is a duo that needs no introduction. Honing from Brooklyn, these artists have been making some of the most unique sounds for well over a decade, and their recent performance at the Mayan proved that they can still satisfy a matured audience.
In a world where classical music is not mainstream, hip hop is arrogant, and rock music created bands like Nickleback, a group like Ratatat pushes towards the far left when it comes to creativity and originality. Only this group could pull off an indie rock sounding performance with classically influenced chord progressions and a hip-hop/electronic style of execution. These guys have been surfing the highest peak of modern musical creativity, taking what society has given them and arranging it in a way that sounds like no other.
The group has already pleased fans worldwide with the release of their last record Magnifique, on top of a string of festival dates including Coachella, Hard Summer, and TBD Fest. Last time the duo came around in 2011 and they went MIA for a solid 4 years before coming back with an album and shows. I knew that if they were touring now it would not be long until they disappeared once more. I knew I had to check them out before they stopped playing once again. And so it goes..
I found myself at the strange Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles, a venue that looked like it was inspired by an ancient Mayan temple. Right off the bat I noticed an older crowd in attendance. One woman in particular told me that she saw Basement Jaxx at this same venue in 2000.
Being the EDM fan that I am, I couldn't help but prefer the presence of this kind; devoted music fans over intoxicated underage kids who came to rage.
On this night I witnessed people who had nothing but respect and admiration for Ratatat, holding an open mind to their weirder moments on stage. Indeed, things got weird up there. If it wasn't their electrifying harmonies then it might have been their lucid visuals that gave it a unique vibe. From the auto harp to a pedal steel, Ratatat kept the audience amazed as they showed off their multi-instrumental skills throughout the performance.
Their music spoke a powerful language on its own. No special guests nor vocals were needed. They have been able to sustain a solid career through their musical arrangement abilities. It felt more artistic than the majority of electronic artists we normally support.
Ratatat's live show was beyond two human beings creating sounds on-stage. This show felt like an entire concept that was being presented through both sound and visuals.
It tickled our brains in a way that made us reconsider the idea of a live performance. Ratatat played with the idea of music, toying with the roots of expressionism through their vivid performance. It is one thing to be able to record a solid discography of music throughout a career and it is another to be able to voice that in a 2 hour performance. Ratatat fullfilled our extremely high expectations and we would recommend catching them on the rest of this tour.
Photography by Austin Braunschweiger
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