"Mind Bokeh" by Bibio

Bibio
Mind Bokeh

Warp Records
2011

Review

I'm not sure you can really call this "Instrumental" or "Electronic". Sure, there are elements of those loosely defined genres here. But really it's just "music". Music that self-identified fans of the previously mentioned genres would dig if they are adventurous.

That last Bibio record that received an enthusiastic if not poorly written (for months I had the name of the artist spelled wrong) review from yours truly was one that I listened to over and over again. There was an element of Soul to the music. There was a playfulness to it. There was a "soundtrack to the happy moments in a scary movie made in the 70's" element to it. Like there was some darkness hidden underneath all that happiness. Maybe that was just me projecting. But then here it is again on Bibio's latest, "Mind Bokeh".

The titular track itself isn't really what I would call a complete track. It seems more like the concept sketch for the album. It seems like there is something a bit darker this go-round, but unlike the last record which was darkness hidden in happiness, this one is more happiness hidden in darkness.

I'm not trying to be so abstract on purpose, it's just that with this material it's something you just sort of have to feel. Sure, often there are words, but those words are really just there to echo the emotions of the tracks; lyrics are Bibio's hypeman.

There's not a consistent sound here. More like a consistent vibe. My two favorite tracks on the album couldn't possibly more different. Neither are instrumental. I'm referring to "Wake Up" and "Take Off Your Shirt". While "Wake Up" can probably best be described as Oh No producing good MGMT, "Take Off Your Shirt" is basically a rock record.

You can't peg Bibio to a particular genre, but if I had to try, I'd call it alternative, progressive, electronic-rock. If that is at all appealing to you, please (pretty please) go pick up this album.

3.909 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Excuses (05:58) 4
2. Pretentious (06:02) 4
3. Anything New (04:07) 5
4. Wake Up! (03:25) 5
5. Light Seep (03:53) 3
6. Take Off Your Shirt (04:03) 5
7. Artists' Valley (06:00) 4
8. K Is for Kelson (03:28) 3
9. Mind Bokeh (02:33)
10. More Excuses (04:27) 3
11. Feminine Eye (01:50) 3
12. Saint Christopher (06:33) 4