For a band who seem fond of posing with their eyes covered in much of their promotional material, Ratatat certainly aren’t shortsighted when it comes to working a crowd. The New Yorkers’ set on Friday night at the FCC impressed in no small measure, even moving one reveller to invade the stage and attempt to jam with them.
If the fact that a band who have opened for the likes of Bjork, CSS and the mighty Daft Punk opted to rock Phnom Penh came as something of a surprise, their expertise onstage was less of a revelation. This was no glossy, polished performance though; guitarist Mike Stroud prowled the stage like a bedraggled electro tiger, swigging from a bottle of wine and whirling his hair as he went. Indeed, so alpha rock star was his performance that at times it almost crossed the line into parody, yet that didn’t stop the girls swooning and the guys pogoing.
On synth and bass, Evan Mast was slightly more reserved – but only just. The producer-cum-performer attacked his keyboard like a starving man at a banquet, crashing out dirty post-rock, which led the audience down a sonic rabbit hole. The jaunty techno pop of “Shempi” was clearly designed to get feet moving and it had the desired effect here, while the dreamy psychedelia of “Falcon Jab” lulled the crowd into a false sense of security before baring its teeth.
Quality electro music is in relatively short supply in this age of knee-jerk, scene-led A&R men looking for a quick buck. That two of its finest exponents were to be found turning the FCC into a den of Brooklyn cool on Friday night was an even rarer treat.