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Bibio returns in 2019 with ‘Ribbons’. Following his ambient atmospheric project, ‘Phantom Brickworks’, Stephen Wilkinson returns to the path of structured songwriting last explored on 2016’s ‘A Mineral Love’. Ribbons yields folkloric charm with an organic palette, incorporating a mostly acoustic-led approach exploring ‘60s and ‘70s psychedelia, soul, ambient, electronic and field recordings.
The title ‘Ribbons’ is extracted from the most electronic-leaning track on the album, ‘Pretty Ribbons And Lovely Flowers’. On the track, haunting, processed female vocals illuminate a route through dark ambience and a repeating earthy distorted chord sequence. Referencing the endless ribbons of analogue tape and film used in his music, photography and cinematic work, the album artwork is designed by Wilkinson, where his portrait offers a window onto an English woodland scene with spring bluebells adorned with ribbons.
Wilkinson’s folk influences span ‘60s and ‘70s styles from Britain, Ireland and America; he mixes influences of homegrown acid folk with the dreamy harmonies of its Californian counterpart. He also pays homage to his past J Dilla and Madlib-inspired works, this time drawing influence from the eras and records those producers sampled - such as ‘60s and ‘70s Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Sharp and other soul artists - but rather than relying on sampling records, Wilkinson creates his homages from scratch with appropriate instrumentation.
With this latest album Wilkinson oscillates between genres, pairing the unknown with the familiar and moving forward in a way that only he knows how to.
Barry says: Bibio has straddled a wide variety of styles over his (almost) 15-year recorded output, from the lo-fi ambience of 'Fi', the syncopated folky pluckings of 'Silver Wilkinson' and 2016's pumping electronic odyssey, 'A Mineral Love'. This newest outing takes all those wonderfully accomplished but stylistically disparate outings and perfectly weaves them together into a languid but varied musical quilt for 'Ribbons'. Quintessentially Bibio but building upon his tendency for variety and creative expertise. Properly lovely stuff.
The Art Of Living
Ode To A Nuthatch
Watch The Flies
It’s Your Bones
You Couldn’t Even Hear
The Birds Singing
Pretty Ribbons And Lovely Flowers
Frankincense And Coal
Under A Lone Ash