The Books’ Paul de Jong announces debut solo album IF, hopefully composed solely from samples of Malcolm McDowell being pithy

The Books' Paul de Jong announces debut solo album IF, hopefully composed solely from samples of Malcolm McDowell being pithy

The Books formed in 1999 and officially split up in 2012. Over the course of that 13-year span they released four incredible albums of delicate experimentation and sample manipulation. Playful, meditative, mournful, absurd, hilarious, surreal, profound, and heart-breaking are all apt descriptions of their one-of-a-kind style, and yet none of them quite captures the full picture. And hey, bonus, their first album was our 22nd favorite of the last decade, despite the fact that Nick Zammuto (one half of the duo) admits they may not have known exactly what they were doing before or after its completion, and that, perhaps, speaks to their music’s power more than any of those aforementioned descriptors. It’s the indefinable quality, the unexpectedness. It’s the samples. Those bizarre, out of context, out of nowhere bits of dialogue from some forgotten film or unlabeled cassette found at a garage sale that give the music so much power. Yes, of course, they’d be nothing without the gorgeous, innovative music that surrounds them, but admit it, you can’t separate the word “aleatoric” from “Read, Eat, Sleep.” You have to admit it. You’re lying if you don’t.

Since the duo’s dissolution, Nick Zammuto has put out two charming albums under his surname, but The Books’ other half, cellist and sample guru Paul de Jong, has been quiet. But all that’s about to change, praise be to the great self-conscious dead fish. On April 28, de Jong will release IF via Temporary Residence. And despite the fact that I want to be surprised and delighted by an array of strange and unheard samples, and despite the fact that the album is missing the ellipses found in the title of Lindsay Anderson’s 1968 film of (sort of) the same name, it would still be kind of great if the album consisted only of Malcolm McDowell being all pithy and anti-authoritarian. Of course, you can listen to the album’s first single, “Auction Block,” below, and hear that, sadly, this is not the case. Still a great track, though. You can also check out a frisky little mildly NSFW album trailer right here, you know, if you’re feeling a bit like a tiger.

IF tracklist:

01. Auction Block
02. Hollywald
03. This Is Who I Am
04. IF
05. Golden Gate
06. Debt Free
07. Baxter @ 73
08. Snakes
09. Age of the Sea
10. Purpose
11. The Art of What
12. Troia

• Paul de Jong:
• Temporary Residence Ltd.:

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