Bibio - The Green [EP]
Wolverhampton producer Bibio, alter-ego of Stephen Wilkinson, has wasted no time in following up his previous release, Silver Wilkinson, which came out on Warp during May of last year. It was received well my most outlets, and before we've even fully absorbed its nutrients (we're technically in that don't-go-swimming-or-you'll-drown phase of digesting it), Wilkinson's got some more goodies prepped for our ears – if only there were more artists with his work ethic. Sort of. Technically there's nothing 100% new here.
It's a mini-rarities collection-cum-extended single, with Silver Wilkinson cut 'Dye The Water Green' spearheading the EP, and archived material padding out the rest of the space. They're not selected willy-nilly though, with Wilkinson carefully curating The Green. All the 'extra' cuts were handpicked to compliment the lead single; noises chosen to accentuate the nuances and sounds welcomed to the fold that provided contrast. It's a fairly fresh way of crafting a release – instead of bunching together tracks with temporal relations, he's sewn together those with similar aural traits – the music's not necessarily recorded or written at the same time, but it's very cohesive. In a short time, Wilkinson's created a whole world.
The musical NPCs that fill this new world are vital, not just supporting players. As mentioned before, the help build up the overall effect of 'Dye The Water Green' and by extension, the EP as a whole. 'Carbon Wulf' is lost, awash in a mire of early '90s shoegaze and drifting static. It's the ambient facet. 'A Thousand Syllables' (sounds like a prequel to that terrible Eddie Murphy film) is almost hymnal. The lead melody sounds as though its being played by a lonely ghost in the ruins of a cathedral; it's classical to an extent, and Wilkinson is not messing around with dynamics. He uses silence and volume as deadly weapons. 'Dinghy' sorta jogs a memory in your head of some scratchy VHS playing '70s kids TV shows; it's vaguely twee, lo-fi and fantastical. All these tracks, whilst lovely in themselves, are made ten times better when tethered together.
It's no wonder Wilkinson made 'Dye The Water Green' the central figure on The Green. The EP's a heady melange of furry, spectral (if that can be a thing?) guitar noodling and therapeutic synth pads, and 'Dye The Water Green' represents the entire timbre: its propensity for eliciting calm. The police should blare it at times of civil unrest. It could be an anti-riot WMD (weapon of mass distraction). Make sure you tie a rope around your waist and fasten it to something like an anvil before leaping into The Green – it could be weeks before you find anything corporeal otherwise.