here’s a particular reason that certain points in the press of records have more resonance than others. Much will be made, for example, out of the fact that Marcus Eoin (Boards of Canada) recommended this album to the people at Mush Records. And much should be made of it, because the feel of the record is incredibly similar. The naïve tone of innocence is ever-present in every single track here, although it’s crucially missing the particular menace that makes Boards of Canada so undefinable and special.
The sound, however, could hardly be more different—the elements are all very much acoustic. Guitar lines interweave with en plein air production and a whole host of effects that denote four-track, rather than ProTools. Tape often becomes oversaturated through, what one imagines is a completely natural aging process (similar to William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops). Things move much more quickly than that ambient masterpiece. Distended loops come unraveled in a matter of minutes, rather than hours; other loops of sounds emerge from the distance; and production minutiae take on even greater importance.
The album is composed of 17 tracks that total nearly 50 minutes of music. Among the more fleshed out pieces that average four-minutes in length, there are a number of short interludes. “It Was Willow,” for example, does little more than fade-in a looped guitar and, over two minutes, fade-out it out. The album is cohesive, nonetheless, due to the instrumentation and production. It’s a familiar sound to anyone who has heard it before and, unfortunately, Bibio does little to distinguish himself (perhaps aside from the bell-clear “Looking Through The Facets of a Plastic Jewel” and the particularly shoddy, in a good way, “I’m Rewinding It…”.
That’s why it’s hardly novel to hear the acoustic wanderings of a lone artist. The ground is littered with the remnants of a host of artists that ply the lo-fi trade in search of something greater than its immediate rewards. While Bibio doesn’t offer anything past those immediate rewards, you could do worse than spend an hour or two with him, pondering the questions of the universe and marveling at all that goes on around you.
Reviewed by: Michael Bennett
Reviewed on: 2005-02-17