Library Tapes: Höstluft
Make Mine Music

At first listen, Library Tapes' third release Höstluft soundsa bit too monochromatic, with all eleven of its compositions pairing piano settings of classical character with encrusted layers of vinyl crackle and occasional, natural-sounding field recording enhancements. The group name is well-chosen, with the muffled blur of the piano and surface textures suggestive of sounds rescued from decaying reels retrieved from a basement's archives. Like a scratchy silent era film, the music flickers into life, whether it's a stately lilt (“Pjotr”) or a rumination almost buried under the creak and clank of a train passing close by (“Distans”). Yes, the group does hew resolutely to the template but repeated listens bring forth the melodic elegance of the pieces themselves, making the collection considerably more satisfying than one might have expected. Much like last year's Feelings For Something Lost, Library Tapes' thirty-two minute mini-album is also an admirable model of economy.

July 2007