|MH-042 Bibio - Ovals And Emeralds
Take the layered, unhurried folk exuberance of a Bibio album, replace the source material with something that brings to mind calliopes and cymbalophones, cast it in sepia tone, run it through organ grinder speakers and you’ve got the limited edition EP, Ovals And Emeralds. Marrying musical sincerity with electronic jousting Bibio constructs a sweetly disorienting wall of whirs and electronic moans to create a soundtrack well suited for a gauzy aquarium carnival. Released exclusively on emerald green vinyl, the album packaging is appropriate to its beautiful yet disorienting feel. Dark at times, Ovals and Emeralds is still Bibio, rollicking and full of musical motion. For all your killer-clown-goes-electro-folk kicks, kids, step right up.
|File this one under 'repeat listening' – indeed, Ovals & Emeralds needs to be given time to reveal its full detail. - Cyclic Defrost / Amidst the wall of sound are faded music boxes and rich bonsai soundscapes that hypnotize you like a demented carnie at the circus gates. - The Decibel Tolls / Bibio strikes again! - The Music Lobby|
|As the year wears on, it seems that Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) hasn’t stopped recording. And in this new clutch of songs for the Ovals And Emeralds EP on Mush Records, the producers has seen fit to record some more disturbingly organic electronic music. And while that assessment of these tunes might not make sense, there’s really no better explanation. Vignetting The Compost, from earlier this year, was all acoustic guitars and electro prod – and while the guitar is (for the most part) noticeably absent on this latest offering, what it’s replaced with works out pretty well. The following is a track by track assessment of the all too short EP.|
Oval Emerald Vertigo
The five minute lead off track sports an interesting flute loop that as with Bibio's previous outings somehow finds the middle ground between sweeping, open fields in autumn and some sort of IDM based music. The incessant bass line moves the all too miniscule production forward enough for the repetition to not be anything short of entertaining. There's a brief break in the tune, but soon enough returns to its main theme. And while the track isn't served up to display the compositional talent of the producer, "Oval Emerald Vertigo" serves as a capable opener to this disc.
The Death of a Trapeze Artist
This disc is meant to be focused around the idea of a circus and in addition to playing what the press released termed carnival instruments, the title of this track offers up a more tangible link to the conceptual basis of the disc. What's here is a bit more difficult than the previous track. And if compared to work from Vignetting The Compost, "The Death of a Trapeze Artist" would seem to stand alone as an oddity. There's no melody, but in that, it's not charmless.
This almost sounds like an outtake from Bibio's last full length.
Six String Marenghi
A truncated guitar tune that clocks in at an all too brief minute and some change. The guitar figure doesn't really go anywhere, but again, the producer is able to summon bizarrely natural visions through the use of electronics, which take over by the end of the track.
The most extended track coming in at around seven minutes "Polycoulrophon" has an off kilter, eastern tinge to it. It seems a bit more disheveled than the other offerings here, but the flute that's included serves to bolster the track until it shifts into its tiny dream space about half way through this work. The song turns in on itself and becomes little more than ambient, but working in close proximity to the IDM genre, that's to be expected on occasion.
Segee and the Indian
Discordant organ leads the track off. And for a bit too long, this persists. But when that portion of "Segee and the Indian" concludes, it shifts into a Kraftwerk like keyboard drone that should be able to sate any devotee of electronic music, krautrock or psychedlia. - Alternative Music Talk