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LIBRARY TAPES – A Summer Beneath The Trees (CD, Make Mine Music)

Posted: September 14th, 2008, by Simon Minter

Sweden’s Library Tapes have been following a steady path for some years now; developing and experimenting around a core sound of soft, echoed piano lines and an atmosphere of loss and regret that is beautiful and, at times, heartbreakingly intimate. As with previous work, this album sounds plaintive and thoughtful, and it’s very, very quiet. Circular piano melodies build slowly, augmented with subtle string arrangements and occasional ‘real-life’ sounds of distant traffic and the hiss and pop of vinyl. In previous work, Library Tapes have sometimes been in danger of drifting off into a meander, but on A Summer Beneath The Trees the songs have more direction, more individual character across the set. ‘The Modest Triumph,’ for example, is quietly confident and positive; the fantastic, ten-minute-plus ‘…And The Rain Did Fall’ reflects on endlessly repeating notes, recalling Michael Nyman’s Greenaway film scores. This definition of character helps the album to sound warmer and more comforting than previous work, with some forays into string-led semi-ambient soundscapes suggesting a combination of the feelings engendered by Rachel’s, Godspeed! You Black Emperor and even Mike Oldfield, when glockenspiel and a distant trumpet come into play and the arrangements become more complex. It’s certainly music to create feelings.

Library Tapes
Make Mine Music

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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