Sitting In On A Sleepy Summer’s Eve: Bibio’s Green EP

After a lamentably long absence, I’m hoping to return to some wild semblance of a schedule. A couple posts today, and a bunch in the pipeline. Now, Bibio.

Bibio is the stage name of UK-born electronic artist Steven Wilkinson. I’ve come very late to the Bibio club, only having really heard of him along with his most recent album (as of March 2014), Silver Wilkinson. An album, incidentally, I’m enamoured with. He released a follow-up EP to Silver Wilkinson back in late January, and I’m unfortunately just getting around to it. It’s named The Green EP, which is both fitting for the feel of the mother album, so to speak, and for the track the whole EP was stemmed from: “Dye the Water Green”. Admittedly Bibio’s favouite track from Silver Wilkinson, he paired the song up with five other unheard tracks with a similar feel for a really lovely, well-balanced little EP.

The tracks of The Green EP (and similarly in Silver Wilkinson) are beautiful examples of blending electronic and analogue sounds, processed enough to give an effect of both, but not over-done on either. It’s not raw acoustic, but neither does it feel rigidly plasticine. There are synth melodies that are muted and fuzzy, and along with a sort of lo-fi overlay to the relaxed, sedate instrumentals that gives a really charming sense of warmth. One term I have heard to describe this kind of effect, and I feel it applies very well, is almost one of nostalgia- fuzzy and indistinct, but leaves a powerful impression you can’t quite place why. Many of the tracks also have a kind of nature feel to them, a seeming bucholic intention behind all of the tracks. It’s hard picturing any of these tracks fitting in with a city- like trying to imagine a forest in the middle of a metropolis.

Bibio plays most, if not all of the instrumental sections on, well, real instruments, as opposed to samples or synthetic renditions. He also uses his own vocals, and the electronic bits just wind around them in an almost languid haze. It’s all like the feeling you get when a breeze in the summer has a feel and a scent that pulls you years into the past and possibly across hundreds of miles for just a split second. Once it’s gone, your brain vainly struggles to pinpoint the exact sensation again- lovely yet melancholic, direct yet indistinct- it all just adds to a work that’s just extremely endearing. Songs to sit by a stream and listen to, or take a walk in the woods with to, appropriately enough, take in the green, and be with yourself for a few short moments. I would wholly and entirely suggest checking this EP and the album as a whole.

Fleeting thoughts: Fellow WARP records artist Boards of Canada also utilizes this unique kind of sound sensation, but in a totally different direction. Also, the leading teaser song for Silver Wilkinson was “À tout à l’heure,” an absurdly charming song that I can’t help but suggest whilst on this subject.

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