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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Books on Tape
Throw Down Your Laptops
Deathbomb Arc Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Todd Books aka Todd Matthew Drootin aka half of Dewey Decimator (sometimes with Kerri Jerrang) aka Books on Tape has been a music staple to fanatics of the mp3 download for a while now. If you log on to Soulseek, for instance, it is easier to find something from Books on Tape than to find the legendary Brian Eno-produced No New York compilation. There are a number of reasons for this, one being Soulseek started as an electronic music database, and another being that Books on Tape's material prior to Throw Down Your Laptops was released only in mp3 format.

For his first CD, Todd Books on Tape has gone all out. Along with almost all the Beatpunk (an amalgamation of IDM and synth-pop with enormous hip hop and punk rock influences) you can muster into one CD, Books has also brought along some guests, including Stefanie Brootin (I assume the two are related but there's no mention) of Bright Eyes on piano and vocals, Rose For Bohdan on non-midi timed drum machines, bass, and vocals, Kerri Jerrang on drums, and Bob Reich of Slowcoach on guitars and vocals.

Throw Down Your Laptops (a name meant to poke fun at computer-toting indie-electronica-nerds; Books On Tape never use laptops as a rule) is full of wonderful moments, from the straightforward and enthralling beats of opener "Sad Song, Winter Version" to the more complex and heavily rhythmic "Deathbomb Mafia". With songs such as these, Throw Down Your Laptops rarely gets boring and repetitive like some IDM has a tendency to do, though there are, of course, some low points, one of these low points being the dull, slightly house-inspired closer "Replica, California."

Throw Down Your Laptops was recorded all in a single take without computer editing in order to replicate his live performance, which, as I've already mentioned, does not make use of laptops. Because of that, I'd not only recommend buying the album, but also catching the act live, if you don't mind the idea of dancing a little that is.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn



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