Ain’t it always the way – when you have high expectations, you’re gonna be let down? As I traipse solo to the Estonian House for the second night in the row, I am not as upbeat as the Friday night but still open-minded and excited to spend a second night at this beautiful venue.
The visuals tonight are a lot more of what I was expecting and the geometric kaleidoscope patterns work perfectly with the atmospheric ambience of Rat & Co’s music. Their set is progressive without being too in your face and seems to start pretty slowly, however the bass is cranked and I’m not complaining. I gotta say it’s a bit of a struggle to say interested during this set. In their defence, their unassuming laid back sounds like that of Bonobo or Alt-j aren’t exactly the ideal soundtrack to a big Saturday night on the town, however they did seem to lack keeping the momentum going.
There was a good mix of old and new tracks, that they announced had never been played out of the studio. They play one song from early in their career which they said, “is Josh’s least favourite song that he has written but is the most played on our Soundcloud”. I believe it’s “Fourth Sun” but my brain isn’t Shazam so don’t quote me. I feel that more tracks like this with an almost dance-y mood could have definitely helped the set in general.
The “Samurai” synth line is so recognisable that the subdued crowd really get into it. It seems a shame that an audience is looking for something they recognise to hold onto; but this is a fantastic track so I don’t blame them. Shortly after this set, the poor mates run into some technical difficulties and have to stop the set, this is unfortunate as the audience are already on the precipice of losing interest and despite the heavier turn after, they never quite win their full attention back.
The second half of the set is intricate and hard-hitting with an almost Aphex Twin edge which I really enjoy. Despite their more mainstream following, you can see that the Rat & Co members definitely dig harder techno styles as well as progressive guitar sounds. I really like when this side of them comes across but I guess I fucking love guitars. The set does vary a little wildly though with a quiet track “The Letter” with its “Nude” by Radiohead vibes, making an appearance somewhat jarringly between heavier numbers.
The set ends awkwardly with no chance of an encore after another late set interruption. This is one of the problems with “playing electric instruments live” – you need “electronic currents to go through your things.” I feel bad for Rat & Co as they are toted to be excellent live but they were always gonna struggle to compare with my experience first night at Visions. Also despite being obviously frustrated with the technical difficulties they were having, they did their best to do a good varied set with a mix of favourites as well as the new material they were excited to show off. But even if the music wasn’t always on point, the visuals were.
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.
Latest release: Binary, 2014.
Sounds like: Boards of Canada, Bonobo, I’lls.
Say what? The main man, Josh Delaney is a trained bassist and has taught at a high school…not your average conservative music teacher, eh?
Stay classy – Rosa.