Two years after Panthom Brickworks, British musician, singer and producer Bibio (aka Stephen Wilkinson) announced the release of a new album. Ribbons is out on April 12th via Warp Records. We already shared “Curls”; “Old Graffiti” is a new excerpt. Stephen Wilkinson’s writing process typically starts with a guitar; “There’s at least one in nearly every room of my house” he discloses. However, on “Old Graffiti” he opted for percussion as the starting point, later adding bass guitar, clavinet and vocals to the shuffling rhythm to build a slice of warm, hazy pop. Each instrument is tempered by Bibio’s imagination; take the clavinet, when Bibio recorded it, he imagined some undiscovered ‘60s French pop track, or the Brazilian-esque shuffling groove created by the brushwork on the snare drum, which was inspired by listening to old Batucada and Capoeira recordings.
Adept at pairing these influences, Wilkinson explains: “Like many of my tracks, the influences are mixed and come from quite unrelated sources, but I think that’s true of a lot of modern music, on the surface it might seem like it’s referencing a specific era, but it’s actually referencing several, and doing so from a more distant perspective, a perspective that might not have been as wide several decades ago. Rather than relying on sampling old records to get ‘that sound’, I like to get to the bare bones and create the parts from scratch, there’s more freedom in doing that, also the challenge of getting the instruments to take on the appropriate timbre and quality is satisfying to get right. I use a mixture of new and vintage gear and instruments to achieve this and processes that I’ve developed myself since my bedroom studio days.”