Listen to Ratatat’s “Wildcat” (the best song built around a sample of a cougar this year) from their new album Classics. If you cannot see the music player below, click here to download the free Flash Player.
Without words, dance music’s steady beat commands our feet to tap. Its thumping bass instructs us to bob our heads. A metronome becomes a physical stimulus: When we step into a nightclub, the sound–big, pulsing, physical–moves us. Bowing to its power is not a choice. We can only decide to deny the unconscious urge to move.
Let’s stop for a second, though, to examine what most consider dance music’s antithesis– the guitar solo. On the short list for rock’s most blood-boiling moment, The Solo means all bets are off. Notes go wild, and order gets the finger. But The Solo also toys with rhythm, messes with time, adds hiccups, twists and turns that are often counter to a throbbing tempo. It forces a song to bend and change, tipping the metronome. Again, the body responds.
Ratatat–a scruffy Brooklyn duo composed of post-IDM producto Evan Mast and (no kidding) Dashboard Confessional guitarist Mike Stroud–sees the possibility in setting up shop where these two kinds of physicality intersect. Both their self-titled XL debut and the recent Classics shove excess-championing but strangely neat rock solos in between steady, insistent beats. Their dare? Bet you can’t stay still.
Ratatat plays Local 506 with Envelopes and Panther on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12..