|MH-234 Bibio - Fi
Recommended to Mush by Marcus Eoin of Boards Of Canada, the debut release from central England's Stephen Wilkinson (aka Bibio) is a triumph of saturation, distortion, and musical obscurity. Comprised of seventeen ambient songs built on samples of his own work rather than the work of others, Fi is rich in musical imagery. Using manipulated live instrumentation, field recordings, and a strong portion of effects, Bibio's musical influences - the Incredible String Band, Joao Gilberto, My Bloody Valentine, Tortoise, and the producers of Warp Records - seep into his compositions. Bibio's debut is a revelation in the emotional power of lo-fi ambient compositions and clearly establishes him as a producer who has developed his own unique voice.
|Quietly captivating - Daily Telegraph / Immediately arresting - The Wire / The perfect music to dream by - Spin / Hypnotic - Exclaim! / Truly memorable stuff - 3D World / Exquisite - 3Hive / Recommended listening - Boomkat / The most relaxing experience you've ever felt - Impact Press
|Whenever self-taught is thrown in front of the description of a musician, that little voice in the back of one's head gets a little louder, but luckily Stephen Wilkinson, or Bibio, does quite all right in this admirable experiment. Essentially a pastoral cut-and-paste of nature sounds, acoustic strums and glitches that sound like they're emanating from a victrola, fi brings to mind various parts of Boards of Canada, and maybe a smattering of Four Tet. There are some straightforward gorgeous tracks like "Lakeside" with just simple acoustic chords mixed in with some vocal samples, but some of the more beguiling ones are those that allow Bibio to fully mash his inspirations together. This is seen effectively in "Cantaloup Carousel" where piano chords are slightly warped to give a toybox repetition effect, but also allowing room for slight changes within the repetition, leaving a hypnotic effect over a deceptively simple song. There are enough bright spots here to keep an ear for further pastoral splendour. - Exclaim!