The Books

Profile:
Formed in New York City in 2000, when Zammuto and De Jong were neighbors in Inwood, a neighborhood in northern Manhattan. Their music combines elements of folk & acoustic and fuses it with electronic undertones. The two members do all of the group's production and mastering work on their home computers.
Disbanded in January 2012.
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Albums

tom 20 The Books Thought For Food (Album) Tomlab tom 20 Germany 2002 Sell This Version
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tom 32 The Books The Lemon Of Pink (Album) Tomlab tom 32 Germany 2003 Sell This Version
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URA148 The Books Lost And Safe (Album) Tomlab URA148 Australia 2005 Sell This Version
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TRR183CD The Books The Way Out (Album) Temporary Residence Limited TRR183CD US 2010 Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

mami 001 The Books All Bad Ends All(7") Make Mine mami 001 Germany 2003 Sell This Version
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WAP189CDP Prefuse 73 / The Books Prefuse 73 / The Books - Prefuse 73 Reads The Books E.P. (EP) Warp Records WAP189CDP UK 2005 Sell This Version
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22 Prefuse 73 / The Books Prefuse 73 / The Books - Untitled Women / An Animated Description Of Mr. Maps(7", Single, Ltd, Promo) Stop Smiling 22 US 2005 Sell This Version
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none The Books Music For A French Elevator And Other Short Format Oddities By The Books (Comp) Not On Label none US 2006 Sell This Version
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none Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings* / The Books Featuring José González Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings* / The Books Featuring José González - Inspiration Information / Cello Song(CDr, Single, Promo) 4AD none UK 2009 Sell This Version
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Compilations

TRR207 The Books A Dot In Time.(6xLP + LP, S/Sided, Etch + M/Stick, MP3, 320 + DVD) Temporary Residence Limited TRR207 US 2012 Sell This Version
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Videos

none The Books Playall(DVD-V, NTSC) Not On Label (The Books Self-released) none US 2007 Sell This Version
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TRR208 The Books Freedom From Expression(DVD) Temporary Residence Limited TRR208 US 2012 Sell This Version
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Miscellaneous

none The Books The Books on fake Tape - Complete audio Works of the Books 1999-2012(M/Stick, Ltd, Num) Temporary Residence Limited none US 2014 Sell This Version

Reviews

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Euphonics

Euphonics

August 11, 2021
On the eve of the 21st Century, Paul De Jong and Nick Zammuto met in New York City. They started hanging out and quickly realized they both shared a unique approach to music. Thankfully for the children of the future, they had the good sense to start collaborating and get to work on what would become Thought For Food. This album was the first peek into their highly unusual style.

Any critical review of The Books is probably going to say the same thing: They are distinct. They are peerless. They are brilliant. But what makes them so? Reduced to its simplest terms, the formula sounds almost banal... They play atmospheric passages on cello, guitar, mandolin, add a cyclical drum beat, then accompany those passages with found sounds and obscure vocal samples from a massive collection of thrifted home movies. But the reality is far richer than that description implies. These compositions are timeless, mysterious, and disarming in their emotional depth. Each moment has been so intricately cared for; so meticulously crafted, it's difficult to discern where any particular movement starts or ends.

Paul de Jong once described what they were doing as "the new folk music...[w]e make our own instruments, use our own libraries of sound bites while trying to create something universally human." An apt description... The Books' body of work reads like a patchwork quilt that documents all of modern human settlement. Each disembodied voice is completely removed from its context and thus helps create an entirely new one. What they accomplish with this stunning array of reassembled diaspora is the audio equivalent of a colorful sculpture made of news clippings, family photos, love letters, and broken artifacts of daily life.

By extracting these thousands of tiny moments from their own seemingly separate universes and conjoining them, we arrive at the warm conclusion that they were never separate to begin with, and that we're all here, sharing the cosmos together.

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