I hope its okay to start this review with an awfully bad beginning. Because, Bibio’s album fi did the same, starting out terribly. And the rest of the album fi just followed suit, no wait… it became worse.
Bibio, being entirely instrumental, would most likely be filed under indie-electronic. They rounded up electronic instruments, acoustic guitars, pianos, rain sticks, and other various stringed instruments, then attack their songs in an unconventional way. No vocals, no audible drum beats, and much in the style of free jazz, most of their songs have no rhyme or reason to the way the song flows. Which in theory, sounds cool, but somewhere within the album, the cool wears down, and turns into something boring, and annoying. The album is more of a shoegaze effort — soft, repetitive, adding different instruments slowly to become part of the song, layering sounds and noises as the song unfolds.
Having seventeen songs on the album, I was hoping to like at least one, but I didn’t. Bibio’s songs seem to be like the fly at a friends barbecue. It never leaves, no matter how much you ignore it, swat it away, and it provokes a uncontrollable annoyance. I was determined to listen to the whole album through its entirety, to give it a fair rating. It was difficult, and I did it, but the consequence is that I ended up disliking the album even more so for staying and listening to it.
Don’t get me wrong, I like instrumental electronic music. Squarepusher, and Four Tet are some of my favorites. But where as Squarepusher has ups and downs with beats and sounds, throughout his songs, Bibio has a static, monotone sound reminiscent of when someone hums the same note for a extended amount of time. Most of the Bibio album plays like dead air.
Fog – Ether Teeth
Scientific American – Strong for the Future
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works