Ahmad Szabo - This Book Is About Words
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Ahmad Szabo
This Book Is About Words

Ahmad Szabo is a bicycle messenger and ocassional laptop tinkerer. This, his debut EP for Scott Herron's (Prefuse 73, among other guises) Eastern Developments label and it is 8 tracks and just over 20 minutes of warm, deconstructed guitar (both electric and acoustic) tracks. Greg Davis coined the term "laptop folk" for his Arbor album last year, and that description seems to fit well with what Szabo does on this short debut.

Listening to the first two tracks on the disc, it would be easy to think that the entire release is one nebulous cloud of hazy sound. Both "A.C. And Long Drives" and "Para Eva" wiggle around with fluctuating filtered guitar tones (sometimes mingled with found-sound samples and other noises), but don't coalesce into anything much more than that (although the latter track at least pulls itself together for some melodic parts that remind one of the sounds heard on Herron's Savath And Savalas release Folk Songs For Trains, Trees And Honey).

Things come together even more on the short "Tobacco Patch," as washes of electric guitar flush out over plucked acoustic guitar while clipped bits of acoustic guitar form a rhythmic foundation underneath it all. From there, it's again all over the place in a short amount of time. "Cadaques" is another track mixing minimal rhythm and fuzzy shades of guitar over one another while the short "Goodbye Beautifuls" sounds like something that could be a b-side from a Fennesz album. Although there isn't anything terribly original on the disc, all the tracks breath with a subtle warmth and the whole release moves by so quickly that it practically begs for replay. If you like any the stuff mentioned above, you'll probably find things to enjoy.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2003-09-18 00:00:00