ALBUM UNIVERSAL RELEASE: OCTOBER
21, 2002 REVIEW: NOVEMBER 5, 2002
is another one of those compilations that unmercifully reminds you of
how time flies. Spanning twenty years, from the energetic synthpop melancholia
of the early eighties to wildly popular nineties tainted stadium rock,
"Kollektion" once again proves what time does to a band. Mauro
Scocco, the core and essence of Ratata, and his voice are the two distinct
elements of continuity throughout their career and they have helped to
overcome the drastic changes in the Ratata sound.
Mauro started the band together with two of his class mates, Johan Vävare
and Anders Skog, in his late teens and the first result was the single
"För varje dag". A desperate, bouncy love song through
Kraftwerkian electronics. The first self-titled album followed that path
with hits like "Ögon av is" and "Doktor Kärlek
(Medicus Amor)". Traces of this sound was evident on the follow-up,
"Jackie", but there were tendencies towards a more classically
oriented soundscape. Johan Ekelund took the place of Vävare and Skog,
and the band continued as a pop duo throughout the eighties and early
It wasn't until the mid and late eighties that their career really blossomed,
though, aided by tracks like "Så länge vi har varann",
"Sara", Glad att det är över" and "Himlen".
They called it quits in the nineties, when Scocco launched and focused
on his solo career and Ekelund started his successful producer assignments.
"Kollektion" holds one brand new track, but it should not be
viewed as the start of a big comeback, as "Honung" was primarily
recorded as promotion for the release of this collection. While I like
their early work the most (the two first albums are true classics in Swedish
synthpop), there is enough decent material on this compilation to motivate
a release. Still, for fans of synthpop, I'd recommend the now re-issued
first album (at mid-price, mind you). For semi-fans of the band as such,
"Kollektion" is a gold mine.