About a decade ago I came across the electronic rock from Ratatat for the first time because of their features on one of my favourite albums, Kid Cudi’s masterpiece ‘Man on the Moon: The End of Day’. The recognizable sound the Brooklyn-based duo was contributing to the tracks ‘Alive’ and ‘Pursuit of Happiness‘ –probably one of my favourite songs of all time– lead me to listen to their music quite extensively back then, first and foremost to the extremly catchy tunes of their earlier released album ‘Classics’.
Just recently –six years after the last vital signs of Ratatat– said album (which nowadays is available on YouTube in its entirety) popped into my head again while listening to ‘VISUALS’, the just-released second longplayer by a band called Kunzite. Only after doing my habitual research on the music project unkown to me hitherto, I discovered my association is not by chance;
The 2018 formed duo is a collaboration between the musicians Agustin White and Mike Stroud, the latter being the guitarist of –you guessed it– Ratatat, for which he plays a variety of instruments. I guess a lot of the infectious groove on ‘VISUALS’ caused by synthesizers, pipe organs and lap steel guitars is to a great extent attributed to him, at least it undoubtedly sounds a hell lot like his other music project.
In fact the whole record sounds like Ratatat got inspired by the island vibes of Hawaii –where White and Stroud recorded large parts of the longplayer, decided to dial back the weirdness just a tiny bit and, most notably, add hypnotic pop vocals to their repertoire.
The result is a psychedelic joyride and probably one of my favourite albums of 2021 so far. I can’t wait for ‘VISUALS’ to drop on vinyl later this year (November), until then I have to be careful not to listen to it repeatedly ad nauseam in its digital form—especially since it oozes summer fun and therefore matches the current late summer sun way better than the dark wintermonthsahead.
There’s rumored to be an exclusive track with the grande Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry on the physical record, though, so I’m going to put it on as soon as I get my hands on it, no matter how often I’ll have played it already till then.