Wednesday, July 15, 2009

REVIEW: Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue

7.75 out of 10

Stephen Wilkinson (Bibio) was first noticed by Marcus Eoin of Boards Of Canada who then sent Mr. Wilkinson's early demos to Mush records where he went on to release his first 3 albums. "Ambivalence Avenue" (Stephen Wilkinson's 4th album) is his first for Warp Records, and, although this may be up for some debate, I believe "Ambivalence Avenue" to be Stephen's best/most accessible work to date. This is album is drenched in sun tinged happiness/free spirited euphoria, hints of the old scratch and pull days of Hip Hop sampling, and IDM glitch with a dash of "worldsy" influences.

"Eclectic" would definitely be the key term when describing Bibio's "Ambivalence..". Each song ebbs and flows to the next with ease whether it's "dreamy" Folk-Pop, late 60's to mid 70's Psychedelia and R & B, glitchy IDM , Hip Hop, or even gorgeous swells & drones, each song ties into the next wonderfully creating this layer of warmth only your "summertime ears" can truly appreciate. Sampling seems to be the main sound of choice with this release, although the laid back vocals and gorgeously drenched/reverberated guitar pluckings do keep the package very tight-knit. During the glitchy moments I am reminded of Prefuse 73 and Dabrye, during the "dreamy" Folk-Pop parts I am reminded of Christopher Willits meets Caribou meets Tunng mixed with a bit of Black Moth Super Rainbow. During the whole album I am reminded of how amazing an electronic producer can be sometimes when they dip there robot hands into something new, slightly experimental, and different while still giving the listener a decent sense of their own retrospective.

If you're looking for that next album to knock your headphone socks off please do yourself a favor and check out Bibio. He offers a bit of everything with his music as far as genre's go so it should interest most people, that is, if you like good music. "Ambivalence Avenue" is definitely the soundtrack to this summers laid-back aura, it's also one of 09's best. RECOMENDED.

Standout Tracks: Ambivalence Avenue, Fire Ant (amazing glitch sampling), Sugarette, Lovers' Carvings, S'Vive (love this track), The Palm Of Your Wave, Dwrcan

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