“Dinosaur Dinosaur” is the latest release by Los Angeles based Books On Tape, Todd Drootin’s project dedicated to the style he terms “beatpunk”. The tag is definitely apt as Drootin has gained a reputation for fusing hip hop and electronic beats with the energy and mayhem of punk rock. “Dinosaur Dinosaur” further cements this style by incorporating more of the rock spirit of his animated live performances.
Listening to “Dinosaur Dinosaur” one may be reminded of other renowned sonic manipulators such as Kid 606, Venetian Snares, DJ Rupture, and 1 Speed Bike. Within 14 cuts Drootin incorporates a myriad of stylistic shifts over a foundation of unorthodox grooves. Standout tracks include “Bubblegum” which lays some hardcore micro house on a minefield of bargain basement bleeps. “Upon Rock City” opens with surf guitar samples and develops into a lively, multi-tempoed racket. “When Siblings Attack” employs haunting vocal effects to achieve an early Aphex Twin vibe. “Tom Delay” sounds like Perrey and Kingsley bad tripping on mushrooms. “Seeing Things Again” intersperses snatches of metal riffage throughout a propulsive drum line. “Kingston” drops a simple, plaintive melody into a zone of broken beats and distortion. The uniquely titled “Kitten Kitten Kitten Kitten Kitten Surprise” is a captivating psycho/hip hop odyssey which crams a wealth of great ideas into just under ten minutes. It’s a satisfying end to a journey through Drootin’s likeably warped imagination.
Books On Tape is equally exciting in a live setting. As opposed to the multitudes of soporific laptop performers, Drootin’s punk take on electronica is more hyperactive and over-the-top. He frantically pushes his tracks to the limit by deploying an arsenal of distortion and effects. His restless, knob turning, pedal slamming spectacle has been well received across the continent and he has shared bills with Cursive, Restiform Bodies, TV On The Radio, John Frusciante and Flea, The Good Life, Daedelus, Stars As Eyes and Rilo Kiley.
This release comes in a standard jewel case with cover art by Nick Diamonds of The Unicorns.