Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue

Gust of Wind # 1

Bibio’s Ambivalence Ave

Warp Records 2009

This gust of wind tracks you down with a furry; it takes you on a ride of revelation, joy, and a little funk to get you through the night.

Bibio’s Ambivalence Ave from the beginning makes you feel as if you’re running through the wild, but still plugged in. Maybe in this case, your experience is a simulated one, and you’re simply walking in place. Regardless, it’s a good feeling, and one that connects you to the musician.

The album manages to bring correlations between the funky night club vibe of the seventies, especially with “Jealous of Roses,” to the spiritual feeling of running naked in a Holy Garden. Now, I have not yet ran naked to this album but in the right climate, the right neighborhood, I just might, but lets not get ahead of ourselves, the listener can sit comfortably in his/her room, and enjoy it just as easy, naked or not.

Ambivalence Ave is an outdoor party of free flowing, experimentation, with ghosts lurking around. Bibio uses sampled sounds of running water, kids playing, and at one point what sounds like the old laser tag game. The biggest attraction of this album is its diversity of sound, and its ability not to get stuck in one spot. Bibio goes from a 70’s music influence to older sounding hip-hop beats very quickly, and then into this quirky acid sounding electronic music. The overall setup is very heady, maintaining a coherent pace, but changing enough to make you think you had the player on shuffle – wait, did I?

If pressed to compare, I hear Shuggie Otis, Simon and Garfunkle, Boards of Canada, Akufen, and Marvin Gaye, just to name a few. But this is a Bibio album, and he manages to connect the dots in time, giving the sound something nostalgic of his own.

At the end of this record, you’re compelled to start over. This can go on for days, and it did for me. Its not often you can hear a person unfold on a record, or open up so freely. Bibio could have four side projects out of this one album. Let’s hope he sticks with the sound on Ambivalence Avenue, it’s as fresh as starting your own personal garden.

Reviewed By

Ryan Boos, August 7th, 2009

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