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For his new album Silver Wilkinson, Stephen Wilkinson aka Bibio sounds like he’s heading in a more conventional place if first single ‘À tout à l’heure’ is a hint. Perhaps it was due to the restrictions he placed on himself this time around as he explains in an extensive note on the album, “to focus more on an organic and live sound and to record more guitar and other live instrumentation.” While it didn’t quite work out like that, the desire to switch things up led to the recording of ‘À tout à l’heure’, a warm sunkissed track.

It started out in my garden on a gorgeous sunny day when it felt morally wrong to be hidden away indoors. I still had the urge to make music so I limited myself to a few bits of gear and set up in my garden: a 12 string guitar, an MPC sampler, a microphone and a cassette recorder. I drummed on objects in the garden, like a plastic watering can and ‘snipped’ garden shears for percussion parts. The guitar part was something I had been developing over some time in my head but it was this change of environment that led to recording the backbone of this song, which I then continued to build upon in my studio later. When I listen to the intro of that track now, I still hear the sunshine and the garden in it because for me it’s like a photograph of that moment. No doubt the sunny outdoors inspired the lyrics too.

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Squarepusher

It’s good to see Tom Jenkinson’s return to Squarepusher’s dark acid side still sounds as weird in 2012 as it ever did, perhaps even more so after a few years of aggressive nu-dubstep drops and hyper-charged electronic music. It’s the gigantic synth line that takes this track away from excursions into digital noise rhythm, inflecting the track with an opulence and ominous atmosphere. Synths that sound like road vehicles in hi-octane mode make ‘Dark Steering’ would fit perfectly into the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. Tom Jenkinson gives his own explanation of the track after the jump.

As would the visual aesthetic, an LED crash helmet and banks of lights, it’s Squarepusher’s answer to Daft Punk and Deadmau5. ‘Dark Steering’ is released Ufabulum out May 11th in Ireland (14th/15th elsewhere) on Warp Records. Gigs at Sonar, Dour, Bloc and Melt and more are listed here.

Posted on April 12th, 2012

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Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen has a solo EP coming out on Warp in March called Silent Hour/Golden Mile. ‘Silent Single’ is the first single from the EP, a gently rolling arrangement set to Rossen’s distinctive vocal and harmonies.

Exciting news: As a big fan of Bibio’s last album Ambivalence Avenue, word reaches that Warp will release a followup on April 4th internationally. A brief album sampler is above but Warp is calling it “the night-time counterpart to Ambivalence Avenue’s more pastoral, sunflecked tones”.

It can be pre-ordered here on digitally, on CD and limited double vinyl. Tracklisting etc. Here’s an oldie but a goodie.

Bibio – Fire Ant

Posted on January 13th, 2011

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flyinglotus

The gauntlet has been thrown down. South by South West is upon us once again. Over a year, the impact of this massive music festival in Austin, Texas can diminish since your last visit, but oh lordy, make no mistake, Austin is the music town. Amongst 2000 bands, 12,000 official attendees and the many more who lined the streets of Austin yesterday for Paddy’s Day, it was the kickoff for 96 hours of non-stop gig madness. Here’s a taster of highlights for day one:

The Morning Benders
The swooning San Franciscan classical indie-popsters thrilled a capacity crowd at Emo’s (really a big low-ceiling shed) at BrooklynVegan’s day party. Think Grizzly Bear jamming with Vampire Weekend. ‘Excuses’ was phenomenal and an extended a cappella middle lifted the song above all else in their set.

Frightened Rabbit
After falling in love with their new album The Winter Of Mixed Drinks album, I was really keen to see the Scots live. Unfortunately, due to gear problems at the Paste Magazine show, the big-sounding dynamics of the new album was forfeited for a quieter, more-acoustic show. It didn’t thump as much as it should have but the emotion was still there, with ‘Living in Colour’ and ‘Swim Until You Can’t See Land’.

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Posted on March 18th, 2010

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