Remember when Ratatat was dominating the instrumental game, and then one day they dropped The Remixes, Volume 1 and 2? Everyone in the music scene instantly latched onto Ratatat, because they were doing something truly different. The synthesized, analog to digital guitars were just so goddamn smooth. You had to hate music in general to hate Ratatat.
What happened to them? The same thing that happened to Dwyane Wade's knees: One day, they just disappeared into the ether, never to return. Once a champion, always a champion, but they're now largely forgotten legends. Which is sad, like an indian man shedding a single tear.
Allow me to introduce you to the next Ratatat. This is Robin Carnage, and I just stumbled upon his brand new EP this morning. I had other things planned in my day. I was supposed to clean my kitchen. I was supposed to ride out to the East Side and see about a house I'm moving into. I was supposed to do a lot of things.
Now I'm just sitting here in my apartment smoking a fat blunt, because I just HAD to stop everything I was doing. Sometimes, that just happens. "Ode To Chicago" rolls in, and you're just like, "Well, this is what would happen if Michelle Branch started producing really grimy rap music."
It got me thinking, as the slow pianos started rolling in on "Ode To Tennessee", that perhaps Young Buck should have hired Sting, or perhaps Enya, to produce his songs. I shouldn't be thinking these thoughts. They're perverse. It's like getting turned on at a family reunion – which is actually somewhat normal in Tennessee. (Self inflicted burn!)
I'm from the south. I know that soft, adult contemporary piano riffs shouldn't mix with Lex Luger style sweepers. I know that 808 kits and baby grand's are best reserved for the cheeky, tongue in cheek buildups before "the drop".
The good news: There is no drop. The bad news: You'll like the lack of a drop. You'll start questioning everything you knew about what rap was supposed to sound like. Why? Because every single one of these tracks on Odes EP is good enough to have been the original. Scott Storch (where are you?) would be proud of these tastefully done remakes.
An EP like this only comes along once in a great while. It has been a long time since a fresh take on rap presented itself in a concise, finished package, with a cohesive sound, just like this. Yes, there are rap remixes out there, but not like this. This is something that both fans of Jewel, and Three 6 Mafia can appreciate, equally.
…and I never thought I would type that last sentence. Ever. Congratulations to Robin Carnage, for completely fucking up my entire acronym game.