Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Bibio | Mind Bokeh
Mind Bokeh follows the same sonic trajectory as its predecessor, moving away from the folky warbly tape sound that defines his ealier albums and even more into the realm of electronica. Again, it's more of a mixtape or collection of songs, than say an "album" with an overarching theme that ties tracks together. However, unfortunately, I feel this time around Bibio misses more than he hits.
The misses includes songs like Take Off Your Shirt and Light Sleep, the former being an out-of-place staked-guitar rocker that resemebles something by Phoenix, and the latter being a blatant regurgitation of Jealous of Roses (from Ambilanence Avenue). The track More Excuses falls short with it's unattractive repetitive vocal melody and striking similarity to All the Flowers (again from Ambivalence Avenue). In Radiohead terms, it like what Amnesiac's Morning Bell is to Kid A's Morning Bell.
However Bibio makes up for these shortcomings with some quality tracks. The instant mood-changer Anything New features a sliced up sample over top arpeggiated keys and an infectious beat. Bibio proves that he is a well versed multi-instrumentalist on the bouncy and summery K is for Kelson. Finally, on Pretentious, Bibio daringly infuses a microtonal ostinato with 70s funk which makes for a peculair yet interesting mix that works out in the end.
Overall, Bibio is still a solid producer. He excels at crafting unique soundscapes and textures, while taking retro sounds that conjure nostalgia and mixing them with modern electronica, giving old sounds new life. Mind Bokeh is not a bad album, by any means. While it doesn't quite live up to its predecessor, you would be doing yourself a considerable disservice by passing on it.
Check out my current favorite below:
Posted by fin2limb at 11:40 PM