Only a year since, and Stephen Wilkinson has gifted another Bibio project. A Mineral Love marked another championed move by Wilkinson to advance and conquer newer territories, where soft-boogie technicolour-pop exterior meets a familiarly loving, hazy acoustic core. My fondest memories recall the north-easterly rolls of landscape hosting soundtrack to Bibio’s BoC- inspired debut Fi: a swirling ooze of valve compression, and romance. Swinging in counterpoint to arrive at his latest project, Wilkinson charts old haunts on an uncompromisingly bold ambient tip. An ambitious path to forge after dancing on the periphery of accessibility only a year ago, Phantom Brickworks commands an attention that reaches far beyond typical Bibio long plays. Eerie, uncertain, and troubled atmospheres exhale in what slowly build to become one of Wilkinson’s more accomplished efforts.
Words: Rajan Sundavadra