"Ambivalence Avenue" by Bibio

Bibio
Ambivalence Avenue

Warp Records
2009

Review

....I think it's quite good. A friend of mine described it as "weird, but good". I don't think it's that weird, but it is good.

This album vacillates between Electronic/Instrumental Hip-Hop moments and almost really slowed down Indy Rock. There is also a definite 1970's folk-music influence going on and this is exhibited on the opener "ambivalence avenue" and on the later track "lovers' carvings".

The album is an interesting mash-up of different influences that seem to appear and disappear throughout the album. I caught myself wondering if I was listening to a Prefuse 73 record more than a few times. I also counted moments reminiscent of Thom Yorke's "Eraser" album as well as moments that reminded me of soundtrack cuts from Drive-In Cult Classics. "all the flowers" reminded me of "Off The Wall" era Michael Jackson while you can't help but call "fire ant" Dilla-esque.

For me the standout tracks are the heavily funk-inspired "Jealous Of Roses" (seriously, that is one funky bass line, and the sampled vocals are used like a guitar wah-wah petal) and the Prefuse 73-like track "Sugarette" (it's got "Blips and Bleeps!").

This album is a good example of Instrumental Hip-Hop intersecting with Electronic music. It is obviously influenced by many other genres of music, but it brings it together in a way that sounds fresh. For some it may be "weird" but for fans of the genres of music from which it was influenced, it is most definitely "good".

4.455 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Ambivalence Avenue (03:42) 4
2. Jealous of Roses (02:35) 5
3. All the Flowers (01:05)
4. Fire Ant (04:58) 4
5. Haikuesque (When She Laughs) (03:32) 3
6. Sugarette (03:54) 5
7. Lovers' Carvings (03:58) 5
8. Abrasion (02:46) 4
9. S'Vive (04:05) 5
10. The Palm of Your Wave (02:25) 5
11. Cry! Baby! (03:57) 5
12. Dwrcan (05:55) 4