Mike Stroud and Evan 'E*vax' Mast have finally completed work on their second album, humbly titled Classics (and while we all think that each track is a "classic" in it's own right, this is NOT a Greatest Hits compilation of any sorts).. They'd have finished a lot sooner had their self-titled debut, released in 2004, not performed so well in the US. After changing their name from Cherry to Ratatat just in time for their tour with Interpol, the duo garnered a serious amount of praise for their first single release, "Seventeen Years" on Audiodregs Records.The album was released shortly afterwards, and in addition to a glorious press response Mast and Stroud found favour with a number of bands. This recognition from their peers took them on the road around North America and Europe playing shows with The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, The Stills and Mouse On Mars.They eventually packed away the flight cases after well over a year's worth of touring, and set about making the follow-up, with an impressive 20,000 album sales under their belts. The record began life in Mast's new Crown Heights apartment, but really took form when they spent 6 weeks out of the city at a friend's house in upstate New York. Of course, Classics remains resolutely instrumental, but they have however introduced a wealth of new sounds, from acoustic and slide guitar through to sleigh bells and cello. Having laid out their blueprint with Ratatat, their vastly improved production and writing makes Classics a refinement of their art. Throw in the remixes they've recently been commissioned to make, the impending second volume of their mix tape, and their first ever full headline tour of the US, and you have some pretty exciting prospects.