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Paul de Jong
IF

Paul de Jong — IF (28 April 2015)

                                         Paul de Jong — IF Paul de Jong — IF (28 April 2015)♠     “Je čas přijít na vzduch.” Sólový debut Paul de Jonga je brilantním, žoviálním, hladkým produktem, umožňujícím vyniknout lesku geniality jeho tvůrce. Jesliže je hrdinou Andrew Bird nebo Sufjan Stevens, musí k nim patřit i Paul de Jong.
♠     Cellist, songwriter, and electronic producer Paul de Jong was a co–founder of renowned indie electronic collagist duo the Books, working with guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto to craft several brilliant albums of skittering, sample–heavy instrumental moods between 1999 and 2012. Several years after the release of the Books final album, 2008’s The Way Out, de Jong returned with his debut solo album, IF, a lively album built around the disparate elements of traditional folk arrangements, found–sound samples, and electronic textures. The album was released in the spring of 2015 on Brooklyn’s Temporary Residence Ltd. label.
Location: Albany, New York
Album release: 28 April 2015
Record Label: Temporary Residence
Duration:     40:46
Tracks:
01 Auction Block     3:19
02 Hollywald     2:54
03 This Is Who I Am     3:53
04 IF     3:40
05 Golden Gate     2:19
06 Debt Free     4:41
07 Baxter @ 73     3:56
08 Snakes     0:54
09 Age Of The Sea     5:25
10 Purpose     2:00
11 The Art Of What     5:45
12 Troia     2:00
℗ 2015 Temporary Residence Ltd.
♠      Written by Paul de Jong
Description:
♠      Paul de Jong is best known as the cofounder, cellist and resident found sound savant of the beloved, defunct collage–pop duo, the Books. Five years after that band delivered their final album, The Way Out, to much acclaim, de Jong delivers his first solo album. IF sets the Books' early albums (particularly The Lemon of Pink) as a starting point, and elevates that beguiling sense of wonder and amazement to genuinely transcendent new heights. De Jong's ability to find the musical in the mundane has always been uncanny — it is part of what made the Books so magical — and that gift is what makes IF such a marvelous curiosity, and such a true pleasure to hear. In de Jong’s world, everything around him is a potential instrument: his mind–bogglingly vast collection of forgotten private press regional folk records, spoken–word oddities of indeterminate origin unearthed in discarded thrift store piles, and various everyday household utensils that we tend to take for granted. One man’s trash is de Jong’s tool to craft yet another treasure. Featuring a handful of friends and family as musical guests, IF steers a course from joyously eccentric folk–pop to humorously inside–out jazz, resulting in a refreshing piece of outsider art with a replay value that's off the charts.
REVIEW
By Paul Gregory, Posted by paulisgreatpaulisgood on March 23, 2015 ·
♠      Paul de Jong created a brilliantly silly and oddly entertaining music video for the track “Auction Block” from his upcoming debut solo record If. If will come out on April 28th, 2015 via Temporary Residence Limited. Paul de Jong compiled this record utilizing regional folk samples, help from family and friends, and, of course, his amazing cello skills. The music video of “Auction Block” reflects the style of the album, and really shows how Paul de Jong has a knack for taking old random footage and samples, and making them into a surreal masterpiece. It is a truly interesting experience to be able to see footage that is so random, come together and formulate something that illustrates a meaning and an allegory. Interpretation of the content is a matter of the viewer’s perspective, and I think people may find some really powerful messages in Paul de Jong’s visual art if they look deeply enough. This music video is a true work of art, and taking what some people would consider useless trash and making it into a music video treasure is a true gift and talent. “Auction Block” has an upbeat energy that makes you feel like you’re at a hoedown in the mid-west, and the music video juxtaposes a sense of American pride that really makes you wonder what this “American Dream” is really all about. ♠  http://soundcolourvibration.com/
REVIEW
ANDY BETA, APRIL 19, 201511:03 PM ET
♠      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 his first solo album, IF. Album opener “Auction Block” situates the listener in the countryside at dusk, complete with crickets chirping, as the sound of a fiddle and piano slowly emerges in the distance. Soon, we’re in the middle of a square dance, with de Jong reeling off vocal samples until they replicate the machine–gun patter of an auctioneer.
♠      From there, de Jong continues to play with vocal samples and acoustic strings at dizzying speeds, continuing The Books’ early themes. “Hollywald” and “Baxter @73” most closely adhere to his previous band’s aesthetic. But while he can still make miniature tornados of sound that somehow retain all their detail — as in the climax of “This Is Who I Am” — IF best stands apart from his previous work when de Jong peels away the layers so as to allow in more space. The title track is distilled and slow–evolving, the vocal snippets unspooling and then wrapping back around a gentle violin line as gently brushed drums enter and propel the track forward.
♠       De Jong sounds most assured in the back half of IF, which contains some of the most resonant and beautiful music of his career. “Debt Free” opens with contemplative piano before a digitally reconfigured metallophone — and what sounds like a violin run backwards on tape — gives the track momentum, before a whispered “wow” and laughter come in at the end. Meanwhile, “The Age Of The Sea” shows no seams or cuts at all; no inserting of vocal samples to make a crafty joke. It’s just the gorgeous sound of cello, violin and guitar as they move together elegantly. ♠  http://www.npr.org/
Bandcamp: http://pauldejong.bandcamp.com/
Also:
Nina Corcoran, February 10th, 2015
♠      When The Books broke up in 2012, an era came to an end. The collage–pop duo of guitarist Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong had invented a magical, comforting, mashup of strings and found sounds, creating the type of music that is as perplexing as it is educational. Since then, Zammuto has gone on to release two solo albums. De Jong, on the other hand, stayed relatively quiet. Today, he says, “it’s time to come up for air.”
♠      Paul de Jong has announced his debut solo album at long last. The album, titled IF, drops April 28 via Temporary Residence. In anticipation of its release, he has shared an album trailer that shows mashed–up video footage alongside his gorgeous stringwork. Additionally, de Jong has shared the lead single, “Auction Block.” The single lets piano and cello pool on the bottom before joyous, energetic vocals come darting in, splicing up an otherwise medatative sound. It should come as no surprise that after all this time, Paul de Jong’s solo debut is a brilliant, jovial, smooth product that lets his genius shine. ♠  http://www.underthegunreview.net/
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Paul de Jong
IF

 

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