RATATAT LP4, Album and Cover Art

Ratatat, the duo from New York, released its fourth album LP4 on June 8, 2010. Evan Mast the multi-instrumentalist and producer, and guitarist Mike Stroud complete this hip-hop infused electro-pop team.

Mast and Stroud moved their talents from their studio apartment in Brooklyn to the Catskill Mountains in N.Y. The duo recorded around 30 tracks, which are divided on LP3 and LP4. The tracks on the two albums are very similar with some of the same sounds but the duo includes vocals in its’ otherwise instrumental tracks on LP4.

In LP4, the team includes new sounds of international percussion instruments, keyboard, bells, and whistles. Although listeners hear familiar sounds, the team strays away from guitar loops and preprogrammed beats. The vocals, in German and English, confuse listeners but the team had this in mind during its’ creation. The tracks range in sound, some pop, some dance and some with an Asian influence.

The artwork the duo used on its album is a white bird, layered eleven times. This bird takes some responsibility for the teams success on LP4. The bird, belonging to the duo, helped on the tracks and if listeners are doing their job they can hear the bird’s debut on the album.

The team recorded LP4 with its bird next to the piano because it was so loud. After recording, the band was surprisingly satisfied with the results and included the noises from the bird on the album. Recorded on the track “Grape Juice City,” the flapping wings of the bird are easily recognizable and add to the interesting, yet trippy sound.

Some would call this duo a trio with the bird in mind but she can’t get all the credit. The album art reflects the interesting and somewhat new sound of Ratatat and reveals to fans their newest member of the team. The band decided to put the bird on the cover to note her contribution.

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James Blake Album Art

James Blake, dub-step producer from London, England, released his self-titled debut album on Feb. 7, 2011. After releasing three EPs in 2010, “The Bells Sketch,” “Klavierwerke” and “CMYK,” the 21-year-old was runner-up inBBC’s Sound of 2011 Poll. The much anticipated album leaves listeners with a feeling of nostalgia.

The music, is equipped with emotion. Blake shows his musical talent and diversity from up-beat dub-step in his EP’s to an album full of soul, echoes and reverberations with songs like, “The Wilhelm Scream” and “I Never Learnt To Share.” Blake’s songs are soulful with lyrics like “All that I know is I’m fallin, fallin, fallin might as well fall in,” and then silence , that leaves listeners confused.

The music, is equipped with emotion. Blake shows his musical talent and diversity from up-beat dub-step in his EP’s to an album full of soul, echoes and reverberations with songs like, “The Wilhelm Scream” and “I Never Learnt To Share.” Blake’s songs are soulful with lyrics like “All that I know is I’m fallin, fallin, fallin might as well fall in,” and then silence , that leaves listeners confused.

Blake has been referred to as “the quiet revolution” because he strips R&B and folk songs creatively to build them back up. Blake often uses drum machines, sub-bass and vocal loops on his tracks.

His face, like the music seems as if it is echoing and vibrating. The color of the album is blue, which refers to his musical influence, Joni Mitchell. Blake’s songs about loneliness and sadness also reflect Mitchell’s album “Blue.” The visual of his face shows a dark side, representing sadness, and light side, showing his previous self as a dub-step producer on his EPs.

The art and album is somewhat of a coming-out to his audience. The sense of loneliness is represented by his self-title and self-portrait. His name on the cover helps describe who he is and his musical influence on the album. Overall, his self-titled album is a success. The eerie, new sounds from Blake’s album are still echoing in my ears!

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Filed under Albums, Art, CD, EP, Lyrics, Music, Sadness

Fanfarlo’s Debut Album, “Reservoir”.

Fanfarlo, a rising indie band from London, England debuted their first album Reservoir in 2009. Although the six-person ensemble undoubtedly resembles fellow indie bands Arcade Fire and Sigur Rós in size, their diverse compilation including the clarinet, saw, mandolin, violin, trumpet, glockenspiel and melodica separate Fanfarlo from the two.

Reservoir, produced by Peter Katis, features eleven tracks including, “I’m a Pilot”, “Ghosts”, “Luna”, “Comet”, “Fire Escape”, “The Walls are Coming Down”, Drowning Men”, “If it is Growing”, “Harold T. Wilkins. Or How to Wait for a Very Long Time”, “Finish Line” and “Good Morning Midnight.”

Resevoir

Fanfarlo’s use of dark lyrics and titles express their artistic talent and direction. The band found inspiration through Sigur Ros’ own, Jón Þór Birgisson (Jonsi), when choosing the art for their first album.

It was Jonsi who suggested the band check out sister Lilja Birgisdottir’s photographic artwork. The photo shows two young girls dressed in nightgowns, one secretly masked. The masked girl, coincidentally Jonsi’s younger sister, Rósa (aka Sigurrós), gave Sigur Rós their name and now aids Fanfarlo to define their album with influential purpose.

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