|nce thought inconceivable, Vignetting the Compost is what you might imagine quells a grumpy Luther Hermanson's routine reign of intimation and terror when his day is finally done. Pouring a stiff drink, he winds up the gramophone and, though he knows what's in store, it brings a tear to his tired eye every time, compelling him to say, "You know, Mittens [the kitten he ironically named because it has no paws], I remember when music sounded like this." "Meow," says Mittens. "You're right," replies Luther, "I guess I don't; I fear now that my memory might be failing, or at least selectively bleeding into inappropriate areas of my mind. Yet, Mittens, I am somehow at peace with this whenever I hear Bibio. Maybe I've misjudged this planet." And with that, Luther drifts into a peaceful, inebriated sleep signaling a quiet calm through our collective unconscious; we unwittingly believe that tomorrow might be a new day, free of his tyranny and free of worry. Then Luther wakes up and punches the mailman. Oh well.
Still, even temporary relief from imaginary oppression is better than no relief at all. Probably. So for this relief we clearly must thank that sense of discovery or reminiscence provided by Bibio. [Er, thank you, sense of something or other.] Hearing Vignetting the Compost is a little like opening a time capsule from an entirely unknown epoch, revealing hints of a lost culture eerily similar to that of the present day's, with just enough quirks to keep everything distinctly out of place. It's a scenario that only breeds confusion and curiosity, where questions then come naturally. How could we ever lose track of this? How did we arrive at this point?
It's as though Stephen Wilkinson once dreamed vividly of a decaying, late-'60s educational film on marine biology, and has become so haunted, so absorbed by this dream that he obsessively seeks to reproduce the soundtrack from shaky recollections. And as time wears on his idea of the dream gradually disintegrates as well, each new interpretation evolving exclusively from its immediate predecessor. At this point its peculiar, temperately upbeat character remains the framework, though growing more subdued. Plus, ever since 2006, Wilkinson is convinced there were words - there must have been. This leads to songs.
And the songs are good ones; all ageless in the sense that folk tradition preserves them, intriguing in the sense that they sound pretty freaking weird. The latter point emphasizing that despite whatever level of mastery Bibio's songcraft reaches, his instrumentals will always be the main draw. No track making for better discussion on the topic than "The Ephemeral Bluebell." Not only is it a standout among great tracks, but it must also have the album's most appropriate title. Why? Because Texas can't get enough of Bibio? No, that would need to be the bluebonnet. Texas can't stand this guy. Well, that's not true, either. He once nonviolently removed every firearm from the gun-crazy state, taught the city folk how to love Camera Obscura, how to appreciate the artistry of ballet, and to never take for granted every fleeting moment that life has to offer. Yeah...Texas hates this mofo.* It's more appropriate in the ephemeral allusion - the idea that for all the enduring qualities presented through these compositions, they still seem on the verge of withering away and vanishing completely.
And maybe they will disappear through the magic of some discrete technology that no one would ever bother to produce. Wouldn't you be sorry, then? Wouldn't you maybe go a little crazy with guilt and an overbearing feeling of loss? Maybe you'd try to recreate these recreations of a dying score that never existed. Maybe your friends would do the same. Ultimately, we could end up with countless otherworldly odes to odes to odes. More likely, you might well make a disaster out of this. Let's just leave it to Bibio for now, under the confidence that no one does it quite like him.
*Alright, indie kids from Texas, settle down; we know you're ok. But you have to admit, your neighbors are rubes. - 30Music