Bibio - Ribbons [WARPLP299]
For a dude whose music is so unflappably chill, the British producer Stephen Wilkinson, remains a restless musician. Over the past 14 years his path has zig-zagged between acoustic and digital extremes; it’s only fitting that his landmark album was called Ambivalence Avenue since Wilkinson cheerfully refuses to stay in any one lane for long.
His signature mixture of acoustic folk, hip-hop beats, and easy-listening soul might seem tailor-made for the era of mood-based playlists and legal marijuana, but there’s genuine weirdness to his warbly patina, wildlife field recordings, and fingerpicked six-string, all of which recalls oxidized cassette tapes curling in the heat. With the ambient drone of 2017’s phantom brickworks, he drifted into uncharted waters, but Ribbons returns him to his habitual stomping grounds.