Bibio – Mind Bokeh
I bought this album a while back on a whim. I previewed about ten seconds from each track and was convinced it was a work of art worth having. Then it stayed in a folder on my desktop for months–collecting binary dust. I never got around to it. Just goes to show you to trust your first instincts. I finally listened to Mind Bokeh by Bibio, and can say I am thoroughly impressed. I’ll be honest, I never heard of the British music producer ‘til now, but he’s been around for several years doing his thing. That “thing”, in a nutshell, has been experimental electronic music.
It’s no easy task trying to figure out–let alone explain in words–what exactly I’m listening to at all times on this record. It’s experimental goodness for sure. A collage of glitches, bells, record samples, and God knows what else comprise this collection of awesomeness. But what’s most impressive is how soulful the album is.
Take “Pretentious” for example. It’s rhythmic chops are slightly offbeat, just enough to give it an edge. But a little over a minute into the song, and some unexpected vocals come in, oozing with seventies-era soft rock flavor. Every song is full of range, dynamics and unexpected stylistic turns. This particular song fades out, only for a very nice sax solo (I think it’s a sax, anyway) to finish it off.
Then you have the ever-funky “Light Sleep” with its wah wah guitar riff that plays throughout the track. And my God, if you want to feel good and flush your blues down the drain, just throw on “K is for Kelson”. If that doesn’t make you smile, you have problems.
It’s hard to single out just one or two songs, though. They all have their rightful place. No fillers here. I heard so many world music influences in addition to the more obvious RnB, Classic Soul, Hip-Hop and Psychedelic Rock.
I can’t tell you how Mind Bokeh measures up to Bibio’s prior releases; I haven’t heard them yet. I can tell you one thing: I do plan on listening to all of his work based solely on the sounds I’m hearing on this record. Bibio is both musical artist and production mastermind. Anyone looking to stray off the beaten path for a while in search of freshness, should look no further.