Thursday, February 29, 2024 
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Editor's note: We have activated the Neumu 44.1 kHz Archive. Use the link at the bottom of this list to access hundreds of Neumu reviews.

+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Marketing dictates that Ratatat are sold to you, exuberant consumer, as rock-'n'-roll band: two guys from NYC who love the Rolling Stones, are pals with Interpol, and pose on the cover of their debut disc with guitars slung o'er their hipsters' shoulders. Of course, such salesmanship bears scant relation to the, y'know, like, music, the erected rock-'n'-roll artifice belying the artistry inside. Ratatat's tunes have much more in common with Evan Mast's solo action, homemade endeavors that find him authoring the tweelectro tunes as E*Vax; endeavors which, last time I checked, were hardly being bankrolled by the checkbook A&R brothaz at XL. In all his Casiotonic cutesiness, as E*vax Evan has yet to even hit the big leagues of "indietronica," his closest crack coming with an appearance on a Morr Music compile. Whilst the rock-'n'-roll curtain has been pulled across to convince the denizens of pop-culture-at-large that Ratatat are in charge of elecktro's Emerald City, the debut Ratatat disc is still back in bed in E*Vax's Kansas, still farming the same artistic shtick Mast's tilled to little acclaim thus far. Here, he hooks up with guitarist Mike "Snake" Stroud, a six-stringer whose musical dayjob is playing with fully-fringed indie-pop songsmith Ben Kweller; and together they head down a yellow brick road paved in Lego, playing plastique melodies on the plastic ivories of analog keyboards whilst their programmed beats keep cute rhythms, the pair playfully playing with the "robotic" notions of dated electronics as their set lurches with mechanized motion. The rhythms are simple, and rarely are the songs ostentatious or flamboyant, despite the fact that they intermittently deliver samples (with some sort of cheap irony) of some slang-wrangling hip-hopper who's happy to parrot the obligatory clichés of the genre, and despite the fact that they're supposedly strutting with "rock-'n'-roll swagger." Like early arcade-game programmers, Ratatat are working with a greatly reduced palette, and the synth reductionism means they're never going to escape cute. Even the guitars they mug with on the disc's cover, which could possibly a tonal wild-card, are reined in, brought into their greatly reduced palette by being heavily treated, their distorted riffs cleaned up and cut up, brought back into the mix as mere movable parts to keep this robo-pop ride rolling along with synthetic-sounding smoothness.

by Anthony Carew

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