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Toby Driver - In the L..L..Library Loft CD (album) cover

IN THE L..L..LIBRARY LOFT

Toby Driver

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.67 | 25 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Equality 7-2521
4 stars People often describe Toby Driver's solo album as a means for him to introduce compositions that are too abstract for Kayo Dot. While I certainly agree that the pieces here would seem foreign on a Kayo Dot album, I must say that instead of being merely oddball tracks, these serve as a creative outlet wholly different than his other bands.

Indeed, many listeners of Driver's other material, specifically motW fans, should be able to safely ignore this work as many will certainly be left cold by it. The material categorizes better as a piece of 20th concert-music than anything in the rock vein. I would go as far to say that it's inclusion on this site should be questioned. Many have been tagging this as "minimalism" and I could not disagree more. The compositions are very spacious. They develop slowly and employ silence and empty space. However, I would not describe these as minimalism. To liken them to composers such as Reich or Part would be a severe mistake. The record finds more companionship amongst the 20th century avant-garde of composers such as Ligeti or Cage.

Darkness pervades the entirety of the album. With the exception of the closer, the songs were written to create feelings of unease and tension in the listener (in this regard their success cannot be questioned.). Unlike the drama and crescendo ridden Kayo Dot, the compositions here remain very flat overall, gentle caressing you with slow ebb rather than an obvious crash. As said before with the exception of "Eptacerous" the intent here is to disturb rather than present anything pleasant. "Eptacerous" changes this (yet somehow fits in with the rest of the album, most likely due to the superb trumpet work) giving the listener a very Kayo Dot like guitar/vocal melody contrasted with a menacing background of cello and trumpet, resulting in some heartbreaking moments of sheer bliss.

A lot of this feels like the soundtrack to a horror movie. You know how the music there seems to exist in two parts. One to distract you and keep your mind occupied while the other part jumps in the startle you when you least expect it. This album must be listened to in the dark for the full effect.

Although not absolutely essential like his other releases, I still must rank this as one of the finer albums of the decade. Many fans tracing their roots to maudlin of the Well may view this as a disappointment, but it should be highly regarded by fans of 20th century composition or avant-garde movements.

Equality 7-2521 | 4/5 |

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