BioRaised on punk rock and related products, Todd Matthew Drootin got turned on to electronic music and hip-hop in the nineties. With Matt Dennebaum, he forms the duo Subverse, whose sole, self-released cassette Nobody Likes You (1998), although a fairly obscure item in itself, got them some well deserved kudos. Unfortunately, the band had to split shortly afterwards as their members moved to opposite coasts: Matt went to New York City, and Todd made a home out of Los Angeles.
Fueled by this experience, Todd went solo under the name Books on Tape, a project in which he would craft his now instantly recognizable signature. Unlike many electronica producers (bedroom or otherwise), Todd is unafraid to do things you’re not supposed to do, like trying to recreate a guitar strumming effect in a sequencer, or laying his songs upon shockingly unorthodox rhythms. However, two important qualities can be found in equal measure in his entire oeuvre: energy and groove.
Todd’s recorded activity has taken many shapes and turns already. Following a self-released CD, Take a Read on the Riding and multiple appearances in the backdrop of various popular MTV reality shows, Books on Tape was featured on weblabels No Type and Subverseco. Physical releases in various formats (CD-R, 10”, 7”) ensued, as well as a large number of live performances on the West Coast. In December 2002, the first widely available Books on Tape CD was released under the title Throw Down Your Laptops. As a companion release, No Type released a 10” EP featuring a different version of the song “Hey Typical!” plus unreleased material. Most recently, a CD, titled Books on Tape Sings The Blues, was released in September 2003 by No Type and Greyday Prouductions. In October 2003, Books on Tape made its first New York City appearance at the esteemed CMJ festival, garnering rave reviews. This was followed up by an eastern Canadian tour and more New York dates in early 2004. Books on Tape’s notoriously raucuos live shows have occured on bills with such diverse and respected acts as Cursive, Restiform Bodies, Parts and Labor, TV on the Radio, John Frusciante and Flea, Daedelus, Stars as Eyes, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Rilo Kiley, The Good Life and many more.