First Listen: Paul De Jong, 'IF'

April 20, 2015 3:03 AM

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At the turn of the 21st century, computers began to audibly infiltrate musical realms far beyond the electronic and experimental spaces, cropping up in rock, indie-pop and more. One of the cagiest uses of the computer could be heard on The Books' winsome 2002 debut Thought For Food. There, the duo of Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong used it to organize acoustic guitar, cello, violin, field recordings and sampled voices, slicing everything into the smallest of strips and then painstakingly weaving it all back together into a crazy quilt. Taking cues from old folk records, as well as the mischievous collage work of Christian Marclay and Negativland, the results sounded disarming and fresh, like folk music rendered by intellectual androids.

After four albums, though, the duo disbanded in 2012. Zammuto released two solo albums under his surname, at times sounding as if he wished to distance himself from his previous band's distinct sound. But de Jong, a cellist and audio collagist, unabashedly embraces and refines The Books' sound on hi...

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