Posted on May 8th, 2013 (9:49 am) by Ben Schenkel

Two years since his last LP release, British producer Bibio is ready for change. Having not garnered the most positive of reviews for 2011’s Mind Bokeh, Bibio has nonetheless remained a musical idol for true fans who remember the artist’s humble beginnings. His first album Fi back in 2005 presented a generation of music-lovers with the raw, unrefined matter of what it sounds like to peak into the mind of a true musical visionary. 2009 marked Bibio’s debut on Warp records and Ambivalence Avenue showed the artist stepping out of his comfort zone into the eclectically experimental folktronica range of genres he embodies today.

Now, Bibio (A.K.A. Steve Wilkinson) is set to release his newest and highly anticipated full-length entitled Silver Wilkinson. While the album is definitely a reigning in from the electro-pop tendencies of Mind Bokeh, Silver Wilkinson retains an eclectic and experimental spirit. Tending towards the folktronica side of things, Silver Wilkinson is truly a breakthrough, translating and manifesting old Bibio into new Bibio with a fully mature sound. Wilkinson mentions in the press release, “If there was a preconceived idea before this album started coming together, it was to do something more organic and live sounding than 2011’s Mind Bokeh.” Well, go ahead and consider that goal fully achieved. The organic sonic wanderings of older Bibio albums that gave them their magical quality are back in full force, blending harmoniously with the album’s themes of seasonal change and springtime awakening.

Fittingly, the album opens with “The First Daffodils.” Setting the mood dial to “meditative,” this tune grounds the listener in an organically evolving ambient synth biosphere, centering the mind and soothing the spirit. While the mood is contemplative, the music achieves a powerfully uplifting and positive quality, capturing the hopefulness and potential energy of spring. The next track, “Dye the Water Green,” carries on with the meditative vibe, layering classic Bibio-style acoustic guitar with electronic textures and reverb-laden vocals. Great lyrics and simple melodies go a long way, carrying more than their weight in genuine emotional content.

“Wulf” serves as a short mood-setting interlude, keeping the contemplative vibe going but dialing the darkness knob up a few notches as if to say, “OK, now we’re getting deep into the album.” Textures of flowing water and a restless ocean cook up a new tone for moving forward into the eclectic “Mirroring All.” The album's lead single, “À tout à l'heure,” elevates the listener out of the meditative atmosphere into a space of pure joy and playful pop. The mood is celebratory, combining dancy percussion with a catchy bass line and tons of dank electronic textures. The production is tasteful and successfully avoids going over the top, a lesson learned from Mind Bokah. The video for the track premiered on Wilkinson’s Tumblr along with a lengthy description of his concept. After the first few tracks, this tune really just leaves you sitting there bobbing your head and grinning.

The sixth track, “Sycamore Silhouetting,” features acoustic guitar along with all sorts of instruments and textures. Beautiful organic chord changes and rhythmic loops layer with a content, folky melody. All together, it honestly sounds like a landscape bursting into life after a long winter. Every instrument and texture adds a critical but non-aggressive part to the harmonious and amorphous whole.

One of the favorite aspects of this LP is Bibio’s outlook on musical creation. Seemingly someone with a ton of musical talent making whatever comes to mind, his music gives off the liberating message of, “Do whatever sounds good!” And since Wilkinson doesn’t hold himself to any particular style, each tune is pleasantly unexpected. The rest of the album speaks for itself. Ending on a note of experimentation,Silver Wilkinson reminds us that the journey is not over for Bibio and that there is a lot more where this came from.

Track List:
1. The First Daffodils
2. Dye the Water Green
3. Wulf
4. Mirroring All
5. À tout à l'heure
6. Sycamore Silhouetting
7. You
8. Raincoat
9. Look at Orion!
10. Business park
11. You Won't Remember...

Bibio, Silver Wilkinson
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

82 / 100
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