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Hand Cranked

Hand Cranked

UPC: 801061028916

Format: LP

Regular price $32.95
Regular price Sale price $32.95
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On Bibio's second album listeners are treated to more of the same guitar-based audio collages, again sounding distorted through the fog of time, but these instrumentals are nicely fleshed out with additional instruments. At times the listener might be hesitant to even think of this as electronica, with all the recognizable instruments spread throughout the pieces, and the relative straightforwardness of these tracks belies the complexity of their composition. Bibio, who is still just Stephen Wilkinson, layers heavily processed guitar loops with a multitude of other instruments and sounds with no real percussion save the clicking of strings on the fretboard. The end result is a gauzy recollection of memories past, an elusive thought just on the brink of recalling. Bibio's closest peer in musical modus operandi would be Fennesz, but where the latter distorts his guitar and drones in sheets and walls of abstract texture, Bibio has his sonic elements firmly rooted in organic literalism. "The Cranking House" sounds like just that: the internal clockwork of some grand mechanism, with intricate fingerpicking and what sounds like an accordion. "Cherry Go Round" is a carousel ride with circular layers of plucked acoustic and backwards-looped guitar. "Woodington" has what sounds like cellos droning in the background while a tin whistle carries the melody. "DYFI" adds more accordion and a rollicking bass guitar line. "Above the Rooftops" is a pastiche of jaunty piano loops while "Maroon Lagoon" rides on waves of what sounds like bagpipes. Field recordings also help to bring an overall pastoralism to these tracks: "Marram," "Woodington," and "Overgrown" supplement the guitar loops with electronically treated bird trills and whistles, while the burble of a stream flows through "Ffwrnais." And "Aberriw" is the first track to add vocals, telling a tale of a lazy afternoon spent by a daydreamy river watching the "minnows" and "pond skaters." Utterly evocative and painterly, each song on Hand Cranked could be a mini soundtrack to an episode in life. ~ Brian Way