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Review

‘Mind Bokeh’ proves entertaining

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April 7, 2011

Creativity. It can be expressed in many different ways, from writing, drawing, graphic design and most definitely music. In fact, the music realm needs creativity to keep inspiring different sounds and approaches towards making music. In a sense, creativity is the much-needed lifeblood of any great music.

Scanning the radio airwaves nowadays, it may seem rather difficult to get a sense of much effort and creativity in mainstream music. It seems to me that the popular music in today’s society has all began to flow together into one big monotonous plain blurb of rather boring music.

Obviously exceptions do exist, but the truth of the matter is that generally speaking they don’t get the play they deserve on the radio.

Case and point is Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson), who hails all the way from England and is a one-man band. With influences from the likes of “The Boards of Canada” and “Aphex Twin,” Bibio focuses on what I would describe as very lively instrumentally infused form of indie electronic music.

Simply put, he’s doing so many different things and has so many layered aspects in his songs, it may at first take awhile to differentiate what exactly your hearing.

But when you begin to really hear and understand what he’s doing, you appreciate it that much more. Now my first introduction to Bibio was with his 2009 album release of “Ambivalence Avenue,” which seemed to really help establish him in the ever-difficult field of indie electronic music. If you haven’t heard that album, I highly recommend it. It is not only a fun listen throughout, but also a very deserving one at that.

That said, on March 29 Bibio released another album entitled “Mind Bokeh.” With many artists, albums that receive such praise like that of Bibio’s “Ambivalence Avenue” are extraordinarily difficult to follow up.

Rather unsurprisingly, “Mind Bokeh” does justice to Bibio’s previous major success of “Ambivalence Avenue.” The biggest difference between the two albums must be that of the more upbeat, crisper vibes coming from the recent release of “Mind Bokeh.” The new album offers the listener a chance to further dive into Bibio and catch glimpses of music unknown to the American music industry.

No one over here in the states is making music like this. It’s creative, new, fresh, and nearly incomprehensible at how such an intriguing sense of music came to Bibio.

Hits on the new album include the likes of songs such as “Pretentious,” “Light Sleep,” and “Saint Christopher.” Both “Pretentious” and “Saint Christopher” offer a look into the folksy electronic based music that helped to create Bibio. These songs seem to have a sense of lulling and intriguing the listener into a musical trance. As for “Light Sleep,” this song brings out the funkier side of Bibio and jams on with one hell of a groove.

All in all, Bibio’s “Mind Bokeh” is a true response to his prior success of “Ambivalence Avenue” and should be brought to the American mainstream radio’s attention, as Bibio is undoubtedly an artist the rise.

Ryen Kleiser is a laid back biology student at UW-River Falls. He is hoping to become a well-known marine biologist and teacher.