The Apple and the Tooth
Jan 14, 2010 Web Exclusive
Stephen Wilkinson aka Bibio ruled 2009 with three full-length releases. Vignetting the Compost came out in February on Mush and was more of Bibio's Boards of Canada-without-the-beat pastiche that his fans have come to expect. He then put out his Warp Records debut, Ambivalence Avenue, in June, and branched out into more beat-oriented and vocal material to great effect. The dusty and folksy found-music sound was still there but appeared in smaller doses amongst some funky creations. The artist even found time to cover his heroes Boards of Canada with a version of "Kaini Industries" on Warp's 20th Anniversary box set. Now comes The Apple and the Tooth, a collection of four new songs and eight remixes of tracks from Ambivalence Avenue.
Out of the four new songs, "Bones and Skulls" is the most immediate, with a head-bobbing-on-acid beat and smooth vocals; at the halfway point, it introduces a Wendy Carlos/The Shining-like synth that segues into a gentle plucky finish. Many of the remixers make the songs their own, as is the case with the Letherette remix of "Lovers' Carvings," which takes the original track's upbeat shuffle and transforms it into a hazy downtempo delight. Lone, Clark, Eskmo, Keaver & Brause, and Wax Stag all have their way with Bibio's tracks and all add an even headier atmosphere to the already complex tracks. Bibio even has a go at remixing his own "The Palm of Your Wave" by doubling the length and making the song more epic not only in size but in aural scope. Yo Bibio, I think you've eared some downtime, but a tour of the U.S. sure would be nice. (www.warp.net/records/bibio)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 8/10