American rocktronic band ‘Ratatat’ debuts in India
New Delhi : Debuting in India has always been on the wish list of New-York based electronic rock band Ratatat, which is fulfilling a dream by headlining at Magnetic Fields Festival in Rajasthan.
Excitement to travel around the “very beautiful and very varied country” for the Brooklyn-based band is evident.
“I have been wanting to go to India for a long time now and I am really excited. I am staying back for a week after the Magnetic Fields fest in India and plan to travel around a bit, Evan Mast the band’s percussionist-producer says.
“I have heard India is very beautiful and very varied, lots of different regions and cultures,” Mast told PTI in an email interview ahead of their performance today in Alsisar, Rajasthan.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Magnetic Fields, an arts and music festival that takes place in the 17th century Mahal is the newest entrant in the Indie music festival scene but with just two past editions, the festival’s distinctive flavour has gathered the fancy of many global artists performing here each year.
This year’s edition is a three-day affair that began on December 18.
After participations in massive international venues like Primavera Sound in Barcelona and the Governor’s Ball in New York, the debut Indian performance, it says, is a varied set.
“We will definitely play a varied set. Lately, we are leaning towards playing songs from ‘Magnifique’ and ‘Classics’. Those albums are a bit easier to perform live, got more guitar,” Mast says.
‘Magnifique’ is the American ‘Rocktronica’ duo’s latest album released in May this year with dominance of guitar combined with electronic synths.
“It’s more fun to play live at festivals and gigs,” says the producer.
The band didn’t start touring until the latest album came into making and this time the music has evolved as a result of trips to places like Jamaica and Long Island.
“When you get away, it’s so much easier to focus and push ideas. I don’t think necessarily the locations themselves really influenced the music as such but the idea of isolating ourselves was definitely important,” the producer says.
“For Magnifique, we went to a bunch of different places- Long Island, Jamaica. That has been pretty essential for us over the past couple of records because when you do it at home you have all these aspects of your life come banging at you and you’re unable to cut everything else out.”
Interestingly enough the track ‘Cream on Chrome’ from the latest album is based around retro Bollywood music, that happened while watching a random song video.
“I can’t remember exactly which (Bollywood) song we were listening to. We would catch a lot of Bollywood videos when we would take a break. There was one where this rich man is talking to another man in a moustache and there’s a song-and-dance sequence in a mansion, someone was playing a saxophone. It was a really good song too,” says Mast.
Gathering influences from the 60s rock and guitar based music, the duo happily accepts that it’s production is borrowed from that era of music.
“We are really drawn to those times, and would listen to these records a lot. At the same time we are influenced by pop and a lot of other different things we listen to,” says Mast.
The massive line up includes artist from across the globe such as, Germany’s DJ Koze and Objekt, Soul Clap (Boston, USA), Garden City Movement (Israel) along with Indian acts like, Sulk Station, Superfuzz, Aqua Dominatrix and others.
“I know that the festival has a lot of Indian bands on the line-up so I’m excited to see those,” says the Ratatat producer said.
Magnetic Fields will also present the first-ever combined showcase of Indian and Pakistani electronic music producers, featuring Consolidate and Forever South, represented by Pakistani producers Rudoh and TMPST.