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ALBUM REVIEWS

Bibio

Mind Bokeh

By Michael Brodeur
Globe Staff / April 5, 2011

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If you’re keen on photo terminology, don’t let the title of this British producer’s sixth release throw you: Stephen Wilkinson (a.k.a. Bibio) does some intentional blurring (of sound, of genre, of color), but his focus has never been sharper. It’s rather fashionable to straddle one’s generation as a producer these days — with one foot anchored in the A.M.-radio textures of one’s toddler-hood and the other planted firmly in the future — but Bibio never makes this wide stance sound uncomfortable. “Light Seep’’ laxly recalls “Jealous of Roses’’ — a lite-funk standout from 2009’s “Ambivalence Avenue’’ — with its lush squalls of wah-guitar, dubby bassline, and the ever-present songbirds of Bibio’s analog synth collection. The glimmering “Pretentious’’ is another of Wilkinson’s skillful balancing acts of maudlin and bumpin’ — and its sumptuous sax-and-Rhodes reprise is currently Coda of the Year. In the departure department, “K Is for Kelson’’ is a likable tropical jag, while the deft party-rawk of “Take Off Your Shirt’’ edges (perhaps hazardously) close to campus. But there’s not a dud minute to endure in the dreamlike 52 of “Mind Bokeh,’’ which sounds far less like a sixth album than a second wind. (Out now)

ESSENTIAL “Pretentious’’