With the recent release of Bibio’s latest album Silver Wilkinson I thought I’d revisit an earlier release, Ambivalent Avenue. If there’s one word which sums up Stephen Wilkinson’s style it’s eclectic – here is a producer equally comfortable with experimental electronica (the kind Warp Records have a well earned reputation for releasing) as he is with laid back guitar-inflected retro songs.
Wilkinson has said “Electronic music doesn’t have to be so grid like, it can be elasticated, more human.” His use of vocals, ranging from Beach Boys-inspired harmonics to folksy melodies, is just one area where this human elasticity is evident; merged together with his use of “found sounds” – quirky, atmospheric samples and field recordings – and the music takes on a new texture and sense of expansiveness.
Having been caught up in a classical music phase until recently I’ve been out of touch with contemporary music, and it’s great to hear that Warp Records still have an ear for well-produced, imaginative music from the cutting edge. With a new Boards of Canada album due for release soon, it looks like music fans have a great summer ahead.