If you’re an avid reader of p&p+s (as I’m sure you are) you’ll remember that I was quite excited for Bibio’s upcoming album Mind Bokeh due to this tantilizing album sampler that was released in January:
More labels/artists should make these little youtube videos, because this moved Mind Bokeh from “Mild Excitment” to “Insomnia-Inducing Fervor” on the p&p+s Album Anticipation Scale (PPSAAS) (haha pee pee ass). The video definitely put this album on a lot of people’s radar, including mine. Thankfully, Mind Bokeh leaked today, and I have been genuinely enjoying it from the first listen.
When asked about the album title, Stephen Wilkinson, the lone man behind the sound, had this to say:
Bokeh is the out of focus region of a photograph. It’s not a quantifiable thing, but photographers and lens manufacturers are obsessed with it. In Japanese it means “haze,” “blur” or even “dementia.” I called the album Mind Bokeh because I’m interested in the effect of defocussing your mind, whether through meditation, chemicals or whatever — it’s a state of mind quite alien to Westerners.
It’s always cool to hear artists’ reasons for titles and lyrics for things, even if you don’t like being categorized as a high-strung Westerner.
Bibio’s last album Ambivalence Avenue was hailed as a great album by pretty much everyone, so as with any follow-up to a great album fans were wary of disappointment (The King of Limbs anyone?). Mind Bokeh is better than Ambivalence Avenue. I can’t say there’s a song that I don’t enjoy. Maybe this is a side effect of the album sampler, as I find that I tend to like things that sound a little familiar.
That being said, if you think this album is going to sound like the album sampler repeated 10 times, you’d be extremely wrong. Wilkinson always manages to blend electronic and folk and I don’t even know what else to make his extremely unique sound. Listen to “Saint Christopher“:
This was the song from the sampler that I was most eager to hear. Since the sampler only contained a few seconds of each song, it made me really excited to hear the rest of the ones I liked. So, pretty much all of them. If you can’t tell already, I kind of loved this sampler thing. I probably listened to it 50 times or so.
I think the sampler really worked for this album because it’s a very cohesive piece of music. I don’t think it would work for an album comprised of a few good songs and a bunch of filler tracks, because inevitably you’d be left with a large percentage of shitty song clips.
So, yes, I love this a lot already. And gauging from other reactions I’ve read around the interwebs it’s going to be on a lot of Best of 2011 lists. So listen, love, buy, and let your mind defocus.
Also, a bonus music video: