- Eat Books (Fine)
meaning 'deep black' in English, comes partly from Ali and
Basti Schwarz's surname while the 'tief' aspect is a reference
to the brothers' shared love of deep house. It is this facet
of dance music that has helped build the foundation of respect,
not to mention huge reputation, they enjoy and hope to build
on with Eat Books, their second album.
in Germany if you are particularly passionate about a book
you consume it, devour it, eat it and this is what the duo
hope you do with this CD, hence the title. It may be odd
but is certainly a lot better than the working title of
The Beer's In The Fridge. So what exactly do these twelve
tracks taste like? Do they make you hungry for more or leave
you feeling empty?
first thing that strikes you is the amount of tracks with
guest vocals. Matty Safer from The Rapture
appears on opener Warning Siren, Chikinki
contribute to both Wait & See and Artificial Chemicals
while Everything But The Girl's Tracy Thorn
adds her trademark vocals to Damage. It is a strong line-up
but, a bit like Ranieri's old Chelsea team, Tiefschwarz
have got the stars but not the team.
finds himself singing meaningless lyrics over a plodding
backing track, the usually exuberant Chikinki find their
fiery electro-rock dowsed while even Tracy Thorn's
distinctive voice is left floundering on the rocks by some
passionless production. In fact the majority of the vocal
tracks are empty, sterile and lacking in direction: a far
cry from the strong electronic house that the German duo
have built their name on.
brothers Schwarz are at their best when focussing their
attentions purely on the dancefloor. Fly is a straightforward
house number with squelching beats and is almost deserving
of the electronic handclaps it applauds itself with but
recent single Issst is the real standout. A darkly hypnotic
bassline propels the track while fuzzy bleeps and metallic
clanks help add to the tension as the track hits various
peaks and troughs along the way. It is a simple, uncomplicated
idea with no needless elaboration or gimmickry and is all
the better for it.
the vocal tracks make up most of the album and serve as
an attempt to push this in to 'serious' album territory
as so many dance acts attempt, and fail to, while the dance
tracks, well thought out as they are, may push many of the
right buttons but fail to push the envelope. It is good
to diversify of course but when it feels like a convoluted
attempt to try and cover more bases and ensure a greater
fanbase, it is an empty premise.
to Eat Books makes you wish more dance acts would take Mylo's
refreshing approach and not be shy to produce an album that
unashamedly charges headlong into dance territory, and stays
there. There is nothing particularly wrong with another
mix and match semi-dance album from a credible dance act,
but there is nothing particularly right or needful about
it either. Perhaps it is an acquired taste, but I am afraid
most of what I have swallowed of Eat Books has left me with
musical indigestion. Disappointing.