One of the most impressive and original groups that I’ve listened to in the past few years, I’ve been meaning to write something more substantial about this for ages, but never got around to doing it. Difficult, but warm, exceptionally rich in sounds and meaning and at the same time simple, even minimalist in structure, but above all uncategorisable, The Books [on Wikipedia] make music that I’ve come to love more than most in the few years that I’ve been aware of them. It’s not just the rhythmic patterns, the exceptional sampling of natural sounds, the vocals and dialogues, the instruments that are presented in such a subtle, refined way, but the extreme attention to detail and extremely artful manner in which effects, speech samples, sounds and acoustic instruments come together in a glorious reminder of how great real music can be, no matter whether it is the result of natural or artificial means. This is not a band keen on posturing or interested in demonstrating technical prowess; their music is timeless precisely because it focuses on what matters and does away with trends. The music of The Books has soul, but at the same time retains a musical sophistication that’s rare. Open minds and open ears required.