Post folktronic masterpiece. Though Ambivalence Avenue is Bibio's 5th album, it is almost a rebirth of the once ambient artist. Finding a new sound and making a successful leap to said sound can sometimes make or break the artist. Though if done correctly it can usher new listeners, the likeliness of losing your core fans is high. It's a fine line and being a one trick pony also has its downfall. In the world of music snobbery you just can't win sometimes. However Stephen James Wilkinson has managed to paint pictures in every style imaginable giving his art room to breath and explore new spaces while the listener can't help but hold on for the ride. His early work for Mush records was almost entirely ambient lacking the later beat driven sounds you find on AA. Making the move to Warp seems to have inspired the young musician paying tributes to those that came before him with clear references to Boards Of Canada, along with hints of Aphex Twin, Vincent Gallo, and Plaid to name a few. Wilkinson says, “Ambivalence Avenue marks a milestone in my life and career. In some ways I think of it as another debut album, because it was a debut of a new sound and era and of course marked the start of my life on Warp.” While the album was released just a few years ago in 2009, the vinyl pressings were limited and saw a huge spike in after martket prices while it was gone, so it is great to see Warp reissuing one of their best releases of the last decade. Recommended.
- music label: Warp Records 2009/2015
reviewed by Resident Ghost 12/2015
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