Music for a rainy Sunday
May 5, 2019 11:53 AM   Subscribe

If you read enough reviews of the music of Bibio one thing you'll come across is repeated use of the word "gauzy".

In his own words he would describe memory and longing as being central to his aesthetic, which can otherwise be hard to explain.

Trained in sonic arts, his music took on a retrospective quality from the start, stemming partly from his recording methods, often utilizing analog tape and atmospheric sounds. In his early music his tendency to blend acoustic instruments with found sound and electronics.

Moving on he started incorporating more of his own voice in a way that could almost be described as folk.

In 2009 he released Ambivalence Avenue with Warp records and gained wider notoriety with tracks that both paid homage to his earlier work, but also played with ideas from broadening genres that still kept true to his general tone.

In 2011, his next album Mind Bokeh, delved a little deeper into the funk and rock sounds he had been working up to on Ambivalence Avenue.

2013's Silver Wilkinson brought a return to some of the gentler songwriting and lyrical guitar work with a couple of higher energy tracks interspersed including those that delve into funk-tronica sound he'd been developing.

A Mineral Love, released in 2016 leads off with the track Petals (live performance). The album is a bit more homogenous in terms of overall style, but incorporates most of the modalities he had been building over the years in tracks like the jammy Town & Country and the funk/soul influenced Feeling. The album included collaborations with Gotye, and Wax Stag among others. While a talented multi-instrumentalist, this album at times draws attention to his treatment of the bass as an active player in the songwriting, even outside of his funk sound.

Phantom Brickworks came in 2017 and explored a new genre, using even more veiled tones through long form ambience.
While waiting to interview him about the album, Clash Music had trouble getting in touch with him:
"He's busy," we're told...A few days later another email comes through: "He's watching the snow".

Most recently Bibio released the album Ribbons leading off with a haunting piece of solo guitar. Almost every track on the album contains found sound, whether it be a cow, a duet with a bird, or distorted conversations and outdoor ambiences. He also explores recording with new instruments including mandolin and fiddle. As with most of his music he writes and plays almost everything, such as in the track Erdaydidder-Erdiddar.
In the Pop Matters article linked above he spoke on the track specifically: "I play all of the parts in that track, in fact, even the children chanting is me. It started out, like many of my tracks, as a guitar riff. The other instruments followed, the idea for the footsteps and knocking as percussion just came to me, I can't say how or why. The biggest challenge, although fun, was getting my voice to sound like a group of children. I also had to get a heavy oak braced door into my studio (I just happened to have a spare one propped up outside) as I wanted to record myself knocking on it with bare knuckles, doing several tracks of that across a whole song made my knuckles sore, so playing other instruments after that was a bit of a challenge."

Music for a rainy Sunday.
posted by aloiv2 (5 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Great post! Bibio is no laughing matter (Zen Drums / Dada Drums single).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 PM on May 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Do love Bibio, but honestly Mind Bokeh was a turn-off for me and Vignetting the Compost is stil the high point. I'm glad he's still experimenting, though, and I'll have to check out the newer albums. Thanks for bringing them back to my attention!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:16 PM on May 5, 2019

I first listened to Bibio when Ambivalence Avenue came out and I get Lovers’ Carvings randomly stuck in my head to this day.
posted by gucci mane at 4:17 PM on May 5, 2019

Bibio is good. One of those artists I can’t listen to anymore because of associations to memories both pleasant and painful. But still, very nice music.
posted by tummy_rub at 4:34 PM on May 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Okay, dang, this is seriously great. I've never heard of this person before. Thank you!
posted by XtinaS at 7:42 AM on May 6, 2019

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