English electronic artist, “Bibio,” has seen a considerable amount of commercial success for having work that tends to be experimental abstract in nature. Along with producer Flying Lotus, he is one of the musical faces of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming and his music has been used in commercial campaigns by companies such as L.L. Bean, Toyota, and Amazon among others. What makes his music so easy to digest is that he is so skilled at cultivating lavish moods that it doesn’t take a licensed music snob to be drawn into the atmospheres presented in the tracks, no matter how otherworldly they may be. His album, “Silver Wilkinson” which was released on May 14th 2013 marks his seventh studio release and an incredible evolution and development of his sound.
It’s safe to say that this is a much more emotionally intense record than Bibio’s previous work. He keeps his signature sound of placing electronically modified guitar melodies over lush electronics, but he seems to be maturing past the “beat-making” style of his previous albums. While his prior release “Mind Bokeh” was filled with mostly danceable tunes, this album relies mostly on the depth of emotional expression rather than its club value. That’s not to say some of the songs don’t contain an energy that is physically stimulating, specifically the tracks “You” and the single “À tout à l’heure,” the former with a Avalenche-esque chopped vocal sample over a typical house kick drum sound, and the latter containing a steady swaying beat and tastefully done handclaps. This being said, this type of energy seems to be an addition to the more introspective and thoughtful tracks rather than being the album’s main centerpiece and focus. Bibio gravitates towards acoustic guitar lines to add to the quiet ambience that the album contains, specifically on the ballads “Raincoat” and “Sycamore Silhouetting.”
While the album is a step in a slightly different direction, clearly no essence of Bibio is lost. The album is an incredibly rewarding listen from start to finish. It seems like the successful and Bibio quintessential track “Lovers Carvings” was a foreshadowing to the future of Bibio’s musical direction.