Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Bibio, Boards of Canada, Clark, DJ Vinroc, Keaver & Brause, Leatherette, Releases of the Week, Stephen Wilkinson, Wax Stag
PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Bibio’s “Lovers’ Carvings (Leatherette Remix)” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts
The UK’s Stephen Wilkinson, aka Bibio, has graced the math-rock world with yet another 2009 release, following Ambivalence Avenue and Vignetting the Compost, which both dropped earlier this year. The record, The Apple and the Tooth, features four original tracks from Wilkinson, alongside seven remixes from the likes of Clark, Wax Stag, Keaver & Brause, and Bibio, among others. Once again, he’s put himself at the forefront of the genre, a feat that seems as effortless for him as some of the tracks found on The Apple and the Tooth.
Wilkinson is at his peak on the four original cuts that open the record, an aspect that may keep listeners from venturing into the stellar array of remixes that follow them. The title track features melodic guitars beside tastefully distorted percussion that Bibio has become so synonymous with. This pattern follows into the subsequent three cuts, which transfer into one another beautifully, with each possessing one unique characteristic to set it apart from its predecessor.
The remixes that appear on The Apple and the Tooth can all be found in their original forms on Ambivalence Avenue, which has singlehandedly gained Bibio most of his notoriety. Their inclusion beside the record’s originals is extremely refreshing and allows them to stand toe-to-toe with Wilkinson’s work spectacularly. Each is a noticeable departure from the original, but never in the wrong direction.
Most notable is Leatherette’s remix of “Lovers’ Carvings”, which existed as a typical folksy electronic track with an infectiously upbeat groove in its original form. The remix, however, takes on a completely different feel, one more in the direction of a lustful ballad over a trip-hop inspired groove the style of a collaboration between Boards of Canada (from whom Wilkinson gets quite a bit of inspiration, see “All the Flowers” on AA) and DJ Vinroc. The cut is nothing short of gorgeous and is indicative of the effortless grooves that follow.
In the end, the record is easily one of the most interesting of 2009. In one of the genre’s most poignant releases, Bibio sets himself apart from the seas of imitators while making nods in the direction of those artists whom he himself reveres. Wilkinson has yet again used his genius to create a truly extraordinary record.
— John Luposello