At their worst, sound collages are the stuff of over-intellectualized anti-music, a type of musique concrète that never hardens into anything of substance. But in the right hands, found sounds can be patched together into something magical and transformative. For the past ten years, the Books — a.k.a. the duo of guitarist/singer Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong — has created sonic tapestries based around unmarked cassette tapes, which it salvaged from Salvation Army bins. The pair matches these spoken-word snippets and original lyrics with acoustic instrumentation and minimal motorik rhythms, to form what amounts to melodic electro-folk music. It's been four years since the Books' last full-length, Lost and Safe, although a forthcoming LP is reportedly based around old hypnotherapy tapes — an intriguing concept, although the pair doesn't need help crafting hypnotic, entrancing music.
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