Album: Ratgrave – Ratgrave
Essential Tracks: Ein Kola Bitte, Fuzzroll
If you like basslines, this ones for you. If you like difference, this ones also for you. If you like dancing, this one is for you, too. Good understanding of music theory and a sucker for complex musical lines? Im telling you, this ones for you. Those of you who are into music production and you just need a ground breaking piece of art to study, this one is for you. The opening track, Icarus, embodies all this and more. I would say that this definitely isn’t an easy listen; you’ll need to have a deep passion for music and a concentrated mind to intake the greatness on this album in its full glory.
Made up of Max Graef and Julius Conrad, Ratgrave are undoubtedly pushing boundaries on the electronic music scene, with their funky basslines, and musical allusions to jazz, breakbeat, and many other genres. I would call this album genre defying. Everything about this album is carefully constructed, from the a-tonal progressons in the third track, Ubi Hubi, to how many tracks seem to seamlessly flow into one another, and again I must reiterate, those seductively funky basslines. Natural percussion sounds are used throughout, giving each track that “grounding” sound. With both Graef’s and Conrad’s influences, the exposed intricate production work on the album is definitely a key feature of this work. Fantastic Neckground, the album’s fifth track is the perfect calming track, coming just after four tracks that just make you want to dance, this one’s subtle jazzy keys and gradual rhythmic build up epitomises just how diverse this musical duo can be, and allows for this album to have a constant change in sound, meaning when listening to this album all the way through, you’ll never get bored. That’s a promise.
Every time I listen to this album a new track almost becomes my favourite. That is until Ein Kola Bitte comes on. This track’s beautifully composed string arrangement is something a bit different to the rest of the album, and of course, this track includes one of the funkiest basslines on the album. The percussion patterns on this track are quite different, something I find inspiring for my own work, with almost irregular patterns being heard. The vocal sample gives this track a feeling of difference amongst all eleven tracks. However, everything I love about this track is dramatised and played with more in the following track, Fuzzroll. Fuzzroll is a real turning point in the album, with the fast paces almost jungle like drums guaranteed to make you want to boogie.
These two tracks together define this album as one of my top five favourites. It is the basis for a lot of the inspiration in the music I create, though I’m still nowhere near creating gallery worthy music such as Ratgrave. You know, this album is for time travelling, too. It makes me feel like I’m five again listening to the funk, soul and jazz tunes that were played around the house when I was growing up, but it also closely resembles the house, electronic and new jazz stuff that I listen to today. This album deserves more recognition and I will definitely be listening to it far into my future.
I recommend this to electronic music fans, music nerds, production geeks, anyone who likes basslines with feeling, people with focussed minds and those who like things that are just a little bit different. I recommend listening to this on a warm day, at lunchtimes, when you’re watering your plants, when fried and when you want to feel completely blown away by magnificience.