16 February 2011


Ratatosk is the work of Cardiff musician Rhodri Viney. I posted about his band Right Hand Left Hand a while ago, but I should also mention his solo stuff too because, quite simply, it’s really good.

Rhodri’s pretty well known and respected in Cardiff. He used to record under the name Teflon Monkey but had to change it because of some legal threats he got from a big, evil company. He also does solo work under the name Broken Leaf, plays in post-rock band Vito, and has contributed to the recordings of the likes of Brave Captain (Boo Radley’s Martin Carr), Sweet Baboo, Gorki’s Zygotic Mynci and countless others. But today I’ll be talking about his stuff under the name of Ratatosk. Keeping up? Okay.

Ratatosk, for me, is a little bit like a combination of some of his other output. There’s plenty of impressive use of loop pedals and an experimental nature like with Right Hand Left Hand; only it’s all technically-finger-plucked acoustic guitar with a fragility and melancholy, more like with his work under Teflon Monkey and Broken Leaf. Songs are enjoyable and emotive, both the guitar and vocals communicating a real sadness, but they’re also impressive. Layers of guitar lines are seamlessly added together to what sounds more like a gaggle of Django Reindharts rather than one man alone, and Rhodri then adds further layers of other instruments including piano and a saw which sounds unusually and surprisingly brilliant.

You can the stream in full and buy album C’est La Vie Tragique below or over at Bandcamp, where you’ll also find a release cataloguing his work as Teflon Monkey. People in or near Cardiff will also be able to catch Ratatosk live if you keep your eyes peeled. It is an experience not to be missed.

Ratatosk - Damnati ad Bestias

Bandcamp | MySpace

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