|Recommended to Mush by Marcus Eoin from Boards of Canada, Bibio, aka Stephen Wilkinson, recorded this album of acoustic and decayed electronic instrumental pieces in London and Wolverhampton. Its brief opener is immediately arresting, delicate and trailing wistful, wispy strands, before bursting like springtime into the full-blown acoustic rusticity of "Bewley in White." Thereafter, fi lilts between pretty, unassuming plucking and more tweaked, amorphous interludes. On acoustic fare like "Puffer," childhood memories of old children's programmes are re-evoked, memories of dragging rusty old clockwork toys from the attic.
"Lakeside" and "Cluster at CWM Einion" are like blurry, yellowed photographs of old semi-rural landscapes, practically crumbling on impact like ancient wallpaper. These deliberately aged and distressed sounds are hardly unprecedented - William Basinski and Third Eye Foundation spring immediately to mind, as does some of Deathprod's recent work. What really distinguishes fi is that I've never heard this sort of thing done better. More than merely demonstrate a tactic, Bibio follows beautifully through on it. There's a nostalgia at work in these pieces but of the abstract rather than easy variety. fi prompts you to contemplate the very idea of the semi-forgotten/semi-remembered, the way all things eventually disolve into the liquid half-life of the subconscious. - The Wire