Bibio
Silver Wilkinson


4.3
superb

Review

by Rudy K. STAFF
May 14th, 2013 | 69 replies


Release Date: 05/13/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Summery.

The best time of my life was a summer in my teens. The family house was for a few weeks just my dog and I and the only thing to worry about was getting to work and getting a tan. The heat was a furnace where the colors seemed at once sharper and more muted, saturated brilliantly by the humidity yet deadened in that thick, stillborn haze. Florida weather in the summertime is a wonderfully schizophrenic cycle that is nevertheless as predictable as mosquito bites: the mornings lurid and sweltering and the afternoons speckled by thunderstorms that would move in slowly and deceptively, then piss everything away for an hour or two and slouch out with the furtive backwards glance of a few squalls here and there as the sun set. I was in love, whether with the girl or the idea of it I never really figured out until much later, after it spoiled, but that summer was something special and deathless. I can remember the days by the few records I played over and over again, and that effortless recall is something I miss now, when I’m checking release schedules and streams and promotional singles and consuming, consuming, consuming. It’s the music that drags me back into nostalgia that stays with me the longest now, and either that’s just me getting old or getting cynical or both, but what I think it really is is just wanting to go back to a time when that old saw “soundtrack to your life” actually meant something. This is me diving into the pool every morning; that’s all stars and after-work cleanup; there’s the one from the backyard party, never again with the green apple Smirnoff. I’d like there to be a better reason for why I love Silver Wilkinson so much, but that’s really all there is to it – this is a record that doesn’t invite me back but pulls me along with it. It reminds me why I love summer (life).

Where 2011’s Mind Bokeh tried out its dancing shoes in a dozen different genres but never found one to go home with, Silver Wilkinson is a more streamlined yet enjoyably disparate record. It’s still difficult to classify Stephen Wilkinson’s work, but Silver Wilkinson and Bibio in general is less about genre spotting and more about the vibe, which is a corny way of saying listen to the goddamn tunes. That blurry mix of acoustic folk melodies and vaporous, analog synth work is still the trademark here, dreamy opener “The First Daffodils” as obvious an opening statement as you’ll see Bibio make. It’s a little bit Simon & Garfunkel and a little bit Boards of Canada, that eclecticism apparent in his influences and the song structures. Less a "structure," really, and more a scuffed over path that meanders about on tendrils of glitchy keyboards and pastoral guitar, usually before returning to the sparse ambient beauty at the heart of all his work. There’s hints of the hip-hop lover in the choppy, thrusting “You” and its on the money Commodores sample; of the pop culture curator on single “A Tout a L’Heure,” where retro synths rustle up against a psych-folk acoustic melody; of the experimentalist, on the shape-shifting “Look At Orion!,” which harkens back to Bibio’s earlier work before unleashing a far murkier electro beast. Even “Business Park,” the black sheep of the bunch, turns an ‘80s horror movie theme into something almost comforting by the end of its herky-jerky loops.

Mostly, though, I keep coming back to the moments, times when the space-age bedroom folk and clipped funk is just a vehicle to take me back where I want to go, when the somnolent beauty of “Dye the Water Green” decides to linger around the synths pooling around its melody or “Sycamore Silhouetting” kindly stretches out on the grass before getting up to groove to “You.” The ellipsis in “You Won’t Remember…” is almost superfluous on a track so beautifully, delicately pensive, the kind of faded photograph that is impossible to look at without bringing back a whole wealth of memories. “You won’t remember, but he wanted you,” Wilkinson sings on a track that is bare-bones Bibio, a lonely acoustic garnished with a faint brushstroke of a synth and an atmosphere that hangs heavy, foggy, enveloping without being oppressive. Like the rest of Silver Wilkinson, it reminds me of the past, the good and the bad, but that latter is strangely muted and the loss is not so much a dull ache but a familiar lesson: “He sees you more than you could know.” Whatever else I forget, at least Bibio was wrong on one point – the music I’ll always remember.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


10431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

"You" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDl8udKk8Zg

"A Tout a L'Heure" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De6GrveAjzo

#feelingz

Digging: Tennis - Ritual In Repeat

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013


6448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yay!

Although I liked Mind Bokeh better.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


10431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

i love mind bokeh too and had them about the same when i first heard this but it's grown on me

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


31173 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Mind Bokeh pissed me off

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


10431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

haha i know. what do you think of this mr. sassy

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013


23828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Summary: Summery

tommygun
May 14th 2013


24938 Comments


I can remember the days by the few records I played over and over again, and that effortless recall is something I miss now, when I’m checking release schedules and streams and promotional singles and consuming, consuming, consuming. It’s the music that drags me back into nostalgia that stays with me the longest now, and either that’s just me getting old or getting cynical or both, but what I think it really is is just wanting to go back to a time when that old saw “soundtrack to your life” actually meant something.


omg rudy get out of my head

Digging: Broods - Evergreen

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


10431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

see what i did thurr aids

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"You" is so good.

Great review as well. I'm not usually a fan of these personal ones but this was well done.

tommygun
May 14th 2013


24938 Comments


really really great read as usual

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

need on this four-square tropical kaleidoscope

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


3450 Comments


holy shit i wish i could write this well

robin
Emeritus
May 14th 2013


4248 Comments


wonderful

it’s mood-perfect Commodores sample

typo

beasers
May 14th 2013


1 Comments


I created an account just to say how much I liked this review. Wonderful stuff.

EaglesBecomeVultures
May 14th 2013


5242 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet review rudy. made me want to check this out. you've been beasting on the review tip lately.

Digging: Yung Lean - Unknown Memory

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


7288 Comments


Klap setting the bar ridiculously high again as always.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

scissorlocked
May 14th 2013


3510 Comments


seems pretty good, will listen!

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


10207 Comments


Well shit, this is easily the best review I've read from you this far. Dig the summery, too.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

PorkchopExpress
May 14th 2013


387 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is such a huge step up from Mind Bokeh. One of my favorite albums released this year. Great review as always Rudy

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013


10431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

thanks guys and robin glad you caught that i didn't like that phrase to begin w haha



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