Anyone anxiously awaiting the upcoming Boards Of Canada album, and who imagines the duo to be utterly peerless, would do well to investigate Bibio. Stephen Wilkinson's music has about it the same Polaroid blur as BoC's, indistinctly reminiscent of past halcyon days, distorted and recoloured by memory. Silver Wilkinson is his first album since 2011's Mind Bokeh. The term "bokeh" is a Japanese word for the defocussed area of a photograph—an area he continues to explore on Silver Wilkinson.
"Dye The Water Green" tumbles down from a long lost folk-rock tradition, its ghostlike qualities gradually unfolding in the mix. That effect is enhanced on "Wulf," which feels like a third generation cassette recording of an acoustic motif recorded in a cave. "Mirroring All," with its big, silvery, old school sequencers, restores some lucidity before we get to the album's single and centrepiece, "A Toute A L'Heure," a bucolic jaunt that makes for the perfect spring soundtrack.
After its first half, the album takes on a more modernistic hue with "You," a track whose funky, sampled riff recalls early Daft Punk. On "Look At Orion!", the listener's head is craned towards the stars, as fazed, giddy rhythms and cosmic banks of synth gather above, with the track achieving a sort of levitation midway through. With "You Won't Remember," we're brought back down to earth, and to more familiar Bibio territory.
Bibio is a deceptively unassuming proposition—you wonder how much he can extract from his signature approach, but once again he confounds us. His music appears to be the stuff of mid-morning TV interludes and inconsequential memories, yet it ends up plumbing great depths.