Listen For Your Eyes, In Your Ears: The Books, The Way Out

"Hello, greetings and welcome. Welcome to a new beginning, for this tape will serve you as a new beginning. That's right, a new beginning. As we're about ready to begin."

The latest chapter to New York City duo The Books' crazed "collage music", The Way Out, unfurls itself in a hypnotic flurry of hypnotherapeutic self-help samples that weave in and out of a finely tuned tapestry of disorientating frequencies, vibrations and rather infrequently coherent instrumentation like a virus rummaging through your iTunes at shape-shifting speeds. About as immediate as evolution, The Way Out initially sounds akin to the demented brain juices flowing about in The Residents' studio splattered onto wonky vinyl like a gory audio cross-pollination of Jackson Pollock and Anish Kapoor. For Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong's fourth long player requires patience and perseverance, a substantial level of sanity and a gritty resolution to attempt to uncover the thudding veins and arteries tunneling the vivacious aural invention that courses through each of its mind-mangling fourteen tracks. If there's space in your skull as such, The Way Out may well alter your genre perceptions and aural receptors beyond repair and you'll never listen to The Drums again. And all for the price of a glorified piece of plastic.

From the brass roots of I Am Who I Am, to the frenetic puerility of A Cold Freezin' Night, the ambient echoes of Caribou that reverberate within Beautiful People to the education-enhancing The Story Of Hip Hop, The Books thumb through a plethora of genres that oft aren't even stocked in a single independent record store, let alone jumbled together on a single release. Yet Zammuto and de Jong have tapped into an indomitable apathy, a relentless refusal to comply with anything and everything currently resonating from boomboxes, Hype Machines and digital radiowaves alike that breeds an unparalleled attitudinal orientation. For The Books are truly unrivaled in their sheer innovation alone, as wiry guitars flail wildly over garbled tapes and nauseating string sections on I Didn't Know That and We Brought The Flood batters tin and tubla thuds against the record's first original lyrical outpouring of subdued apocalyptica. Opener Group Autogenics I, whilst spewing jumbled self-help anecdotes on saliva and Irish accents over marimba-like twinkles, is more likely to invoke rather than resolve any lingering mental issues, unscrewing those bolts that keep your sanity intact allowing your imagination to soar amidst the celestial horns of Idkt. The pair's artistic synchronisation and phenomenal musicianship is showcased by the accelerating rattles of both A Cold Freezin' Night and I Didn't Know That, as harmonicas interrupt snowballing guitar jabs, drum machinery ratchet clanks, soulful tinges and arabesque interventions. Beautiful People sounds akin to Yeasayer hurtling down Nevada highways in reverse, chanting over Toumani Diabate all the way to Vegas, and All You Need Is A Wall recalls the deadpan gawky, raw yet utterly heartfelt emotions of Alexis Taylor were he to happen upon a battered old acoustic and a 4-track recorder in a musical edition of Scrapheap Challenge. Free Translator congregates The Books' most articulately lucid tendencies, assimilating themselves to earlier works unleashed through Tomlab yet the pair appear to have carved out their very own niche amidst the crowded superficiality and superfluity of much contemporary musical reinvention. The Story Of Hip Hop, through compiling an instrumental spectrum as broad and beautiful as an Icelandic sunset, before sprinkling stories of personified genres reminiscent of DJ Format's Music For The Mature B-Boy all over everything, ramifies with crystal clarity quite how vital to every virtual schizoid in need of stringing their thoughts and marbles together The Books ought to be, at least in terms of iPod presence...