Bibio (English multi-instrumentalist Stephen Wilkinson) originally
created delicate tapestries of acoustic guitar, electronic effects and
field recordings on F1 (Mush, 2005):
the time-keeping device of It Was Willow that evolves into
a tapping minimalist dance;
the murky polyrhythms of Wet Flakey Bark that evoke a dying heartbeat;
the repetitive guitar melody Cantaloup Carousel that zigzags through
a minefield of speed alterations;
the methodic pattern of Poplar Avenue that gets diluted into aquatic echoes; etc.
The collection does not boast any breathtaking moment, just a broad range
of styles, from
the distorted drones of I'm Rewinding It to
the folkish guitar fantasia (a` la Leo Kottke) of Looking Through The Facets Of A Plastic Jewel.
However charming and intriguing, these are just ideas. Wilkinson fails to
capitalize on them to produce some substance.
Hand Cranked (Mush, 2006)
better organized his electroacoustic collages, with
guitar loops and field recordings playing a more subliminal role.
The Cranking House returns to
the Leo Kottke-esque guitar fantasia but this
time grafts it onto centrifugal instruments that seem to play other songs.
The merrily cyclical Cherry Go Round employs two or more intertwined
repetitive patterns. Quantock is even more intricate and jangling,
with sudden bursts of melody.
There are increasingly ambitious cases of out-of-tune guitar polyphony
and of non-guitar minimalism
(the piano-based Above The Rooftops),
but also attempts at atmospheric muzak
and even a song,
Aberriw (not a welcome change).
The dialogue with natural sounds is vastly reduced (except in
Sometimes repetition and distortion are signs of a creative mind.
Sometimes repetition and distortion simply hide a lack of inspiration.
The Apple And The Tooth (2009) contains some leftovers and some remixes.
Completing the transition from avantgarde to pop music,
Vignetting the Compost (Mush, 2009) was his most trivial album yet,
a collection of predictable songs in the vein of the
Boards Of Canada.
Ambivalence Avenue (Warp, 2009), instead, marked the peak of his
baroque beat-sculpting art with a compendium of trip-hop,
folktronica, and even old-fashioned funk music
(Jealous Of Roses).
Best are the cubist deconstruction of soul balladry in Fire Ant,
the dadaistic techno of Sugarette and the ominous industrial dance of
This is the album that gave a semantic foundation to his syntax.
Alas, the collection begins with the
ethnic pop muzak of Ambivalence Avenue, another misguided attempt
at reaching the mainstream audience (duplicated in
Lovers' Carvings). The songs just don't stand up to the instrumental
Over the years, Bibio mutated into a completely different beast, and the
most intriguing part of the story might be precisely how one beast led to
While similar in scope and style, Mind Bokeh (2011)
feels like a collection of leftovers from
Ambivalence Avenue, with the only notable exception of
Take Off Your Shirt, his first successful rocker.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami