Album Reviews

Bibio – The Green EP

on February 12, 2014, 12:00am
Bibio Green EP C+
Release Date
January 28, 2014
Label
Warp
Formats
digital, vinyl, cd
Buy it on amazon

The Green EP isn’t all-new. “Dye the Water Green” is a cut off Bibio’s 2013 Silver Wilkinson LP. “Dinghy” was recorded with Letherette’s Richard Roberts in 2006, while a good portion of the EP was recorded a couple of years ago. It’s fitting not because the unreleased tracks complement “Dye the Water Green”; The Green EP works from a conceptual standpoint, too.

The six tracks feel like they’re written from a place of reverence. The EP glides in its reverb-lathered elegance sans the “big” moments of instrumental catharsis, moments that are ultimately unneeded. In composition, the tracks don’t work as a means to an end. Place and time are given a sense of oneness here, and while The Green EP feels a bit long for its purposes, it never gets exasperating — quite the achievement for a collection of unreleased records.

This theme is set with “Dye the Water Green” as the lead song. The EP begins with folk strumming before the song gradually expands inward. “Somebody longs for you, maybe they’re wrong for you,” Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) mournfully sings, as if he’s moments from drowning in the wall of sound behind him. That gasp turns out to be a transcendent moment. He fades away as the drums roll onward, conveying a natural determinism. An Eastern xylophone-like instrument joins to minimalize the sense of place, and New Wave synths close out the track. It’s wanderlust in the breadth of six minutes.

The rest of the EP’s songs are strands of DNA taken from “Dye the Water Green”. “Dinghy” follows afterward with an AM radio crackle. The songs were recorded at different times, but the opening strums of this track tie them together in a cohesive space. Each tune begets another. The morning strings of “Dinghy” give further weight to the minor chord dramatics of “Down to the Ground” — a track whose strength lies in the wobbly guitar work rather than the clunky lyrics. The moodiness continues with “Carbon Wulf” and “A Thousand Syllables” before reemerging to the surface with the amorphous coda “The Spinney View of Hinkley Point”.

The Green EP chases the sublime to a fault, but there is a natural element involved in its progression. Nature itself can be an ugly sight, but it’s hard to turn away because of the inherent beauty of its existence. So then you continue gazing at it.

Essential Tracks: “Dye the Water Green”, “The Spinney View of Hinkley Point”

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