|MH-244 Bibio - Hand Cranked
Following the success of his debut album, Fi, Wolverhampton, England's Stephen Wilkinson, aka Bibio, has assembled Hand Cranked, a fourteen track collection of idyllic found sound and lazy Sunday musical ramblings. The release maintains a stylistic bond with his debut, again focusing on his love for saturated guitars, warbling effects, and natural beauty, although this time with a slightly more whimsical feel. An increased confidence is also evident, both in the heightened virtuosity of Bibio's guitar playing and with his first appearance as a vocalist on the track, "Abberiw." With his first two albums, Bibio has established himself as an exciting new talent, and Mush is proud to provide him an outlet for his work.
|A lovingly-crafted, hand-made gift - Mojo / Utterly evocative and painterly - All Music Guide / Simply beautiful - One Week to Live / A quietly captivating assemblage - The Daily Telegraph / Just fantastic - Lodown / A fine wordless yarn - Miami New Times / Wilkinson's coiling melodies are charming, memorable - Lost At Sea
|The type of woozy, warbled guitar sounds that pervade some of Boards of Canada's Campfire Headphase are the same brand that induced Boards member Marcus Eoin to help Bibio secure a record deal. Stephen Wilkinson, operating here as experimentalist Bibio, twists the classically arranged guitar-based songwriting on Hand Cranked into lush instrumental watercolorings that are swallowed in an ever-present decrepit "tape reel" ambience. On Fi, Wilkinson's compelling 2005 debut, he called lovingly to late 1960s English folk bards, but ensured that each guitar phrase was treated with pitch shifts and lightened by faded woodwind swirls. Hand Cranked is also baked with these flowery reeds, particularly in the brief summery recorder loop of "Cherry Go Round" and in the rich drones and spirited wood flutes of the tellingly titled "Woodington." "Aberriw" features some vocals from Wilkinson, his whimsical melody followed by some bleary brass accompaniment on the way out to more bonfire jubilance in the mildly psychedelic backward plucks of "Zoopraxiphone." Fetch ye another tankard of ale, wench, and settle into this bloke and his lute. He has clearly been inhaling solvent with the village blacksmith, but he sure does spin a fine wordless yarn. - Miami New Times