Philip Raffaele, Absorb, 9 octobre 2003

After his debut album battle cry Throw Down Your Laptops on Deathbomb Arc, and critical acclaim on both sides of the atlantic, Todd Drootin brings his messy electric-noise-analogue sound back to the forefront with sixteen tracks of old fashioned sonic construction. the styles and genres that weave in and out of this record are pretty amazing, in the way that they continually sound fresh and not as repetitive as a project like this could be. Republic Of ends up as a successful downtempo number, with a simple break-beat sound moving back and forth. See You In Tokyo picks up the tempo a bit, but not succumbing to any kind of conventional electronic track archetype. the notes throb like a bad ekg reading.

Structure is the most important element to Drootin’s work. He never seems to take the easy way out, (which apparently is what laptop music programming is to him), and continually loop samples and sections; each song is strategically arranged, and the sounds all take on a life of their own, all orchestrated rather amazingly.

Healthy and lively, this is an excellent argument to all of those people sick of how easy electronic music has become to both create and consume. By combining an amalgam of musical styles, all under one basic pretense, of making music in a somewhat organized fashion, in order to reach an end result of it sounding enjoyable, Books on Tape does so in a way that sounds unbelievably brand new and non-recycled. Quite a breath of fresh air in a stifled genre.

Quite a breath of fresh air in a stifled genre.