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November 7, 2012 @ 8:00 pm - 2:00 am10$
For over a decade, the duo of Nick Zammuto (vocals, guitar) and Paul de Jong (cello) created some of the most forward thinking and genre defying music under the moniker of THE BOOKS. Mixing acoustic instrumentation with samples of everything from instructional golf videos to self help and hypnotherapy tapes, the brilliance and inventiveness of their compositions quickly garnered them plenty of critical acclaim.. At moments they’ve ventured into foktronica territory, a la Four Tet’s early work, but the sounds that they created have mutated and shifted so consistently, that it’s never been very simple to categorize exactly what they do. With the incorporation of elements as varied as banjos and monk-like chanting, THE BOOKS were able to craft a signature collage-based sound that referenced so much, while sounding like nothing else.
Starting in 2002, they released 4 groundbreaking LPs, collaborated with Prefuse 73 (appearing on his Surrounded by Silence album and having their work sampled/remixed on his Reads The Books EP), dropped a mini-album of material commissioned for use in a french elevator (literally), and then, earlier this year, they officially called it quits with a deluxe box set that featured everything that they ever produced. Their last album, THE WAY OUT, was by far one of the greatest releases, if not thee greatest release, that I heard in all of 2010, so to know that it was all over was a bit disappointing. Especially, since I never got the opportunity to catch them live. The thing that was so great about THE BOOKS, however, was that you never knew where they were going to take you next. Not only was this true from album to album, or even song to song, but even from moment to moment in the same track. The demise of the duo only signaled an interest for the individual parties involved to continue moving forward artistically, not to cease creating altogether.
Zammuto is the newest project of it’s namesake and is described by Nick as a “continuation” of sorts, with what he had been crafting for so many years with his former group. And like his work with THE BOOKS, there is plenty of experimentation with melody, styles, layering, and approach; it’s both ambitious and effortless; and it’s not quite like anything that I’ve ever heard before. Like THE BOOKS, he’s not repeating himself. Unlike with THE BOOKS, this time, I’m going to make sure not to miss my opportunity to catch them live.