Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Library Tapes : "Feelings For Something Lost" (Resonant)

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Friday, April 06, 2007

Library Tapes : "Feelings For Something Lost" (Resonant)

The problem with this 2nd album from acclaimed Swedish duo Library Tapes, is not trying to negotiate the long song titles ( example : "It Was A Cold Day In February And We Walked Across The Lake"). It's finding the right mood or setting to fully apprecite this short collection of sparse piano-led pieces. Listening to this when driving is a no go, too many distractions. Similarly, loading this onto your Ipod and for use when travelling on public transport doesn't work either, the background noise would drown out 75% of the sounds on "Feelings For Something Lost". I found sticking this on repeat, dimming the lights and reaching for a good book (I chose Ian Rankin's excellent "The Hanging Garden") is the best way to sample this album. I often find this method allows the music to slowly edge its way into your subconscious and that proved to be the case here.

I got this album on the basis of some excellent reviews and one truly outstanding contribution to the Miasmah "Silva" compilation. This was a distortion heavy piece that really did have me thinking that the world had finally found someone to carry on Labradford's work. So it came a s a surprise to find this album contained little more than muffled piano arragements, field recordings, tape hiss and static sounds. A little disappointed, this one was consigned to the nether regions of my Ipod playlists.

However, through the methods described above, I have managed to stretch some enjoyment from this album. "Lives Running Low Through 7th (The Shame Of It All)" starts with low-key storm sounds and adds some beautiful piano playing that resembles a toybox. Barely one and a half minutes long, it sounds as if it was recorded in a darkened attic. Restraint is the key here, the spaces betweem notes are important. "Departures (Burning Saints For Your Own Sins)" is an unsettling mix of wind sounds, gurgling noises and a vacuum of wailing guitar feedback, that is so far back in the mix that it is hardly audible. But there is a feeling that a lot of the short tracks on this album are out-takes from previous recording sessions.

Lasting just 28 minutes, this release would be better suited as an Ep. Although, the length of time it takes for "Feelings... to register anything of note would suggest otherwise. There are some inspired moments, such as the lonely piano of "Feelings For Something Lost In Two Parts" or the rain-soaked ambience of "It Ends With A Version Of Keeping Reminding About What Once Where". But, the majority of the music is rather forgettable, making this record a challenging experience at best. However, I will reserve judgement until their next release "Höstluft" surfaces, which should see light of day in June 2007 through Make Mine Music.

Rating - 62%

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