Music News

The Books

In our post-post-post-post world, everything has been broken down, rebuilt and burnt to the ground. And yet the fractal factorials of sound still yield fresh ideas. Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong -- the New York duo known as the Books -- simultaneously create and destroy pop music with acoustic instruments, found sounds, live vocals and a kitchen sink of twists and turns. Sharing an aesthetic sensibility with Chicago bands such as Tortoise and Gastr del Sol, the Books specialize in setting up and frustrating the listener's expectations. A gently strummed guitar groove is suddenly interrupted by an industrial bleat. A vocal sample sucks you into a narrative that is obscured at its climax by a banjo. It's the sonic equivalent of hearing a joke and missing the last two words of the punchline. Somehow, though, this musical blue-ball routine manages to be compelling, satisfying and thought-provoking, even in its inscrutability.
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Eryc Eyl
Contact: Eryc Eyl