As Bibio, producer/multi-instrumentalist Stephen Wilkinson combines and recombines electronic, folk, hip-hop and rock music with an adventurous outlook and atmospheric production values.
Born and raised in England's Black Country (aka the West Midlands), Wilkinson studied sonic arts at London's Middlesex University and was first inspired by '90s electronic acts such as Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Boards of Canada, but became equally intrigued by mid-20th century British folk. He combined these styles in his own music, along with found sounds and field recordings, for a unique mix of organic and synthetic atmospheres. Boards of Canada's Marcus Eoin handed Wilkinson's demos to Mush Records, which released Bibio's 2004 debut album Fi and its more song-based follow-up, Hand Cranked, in 2006. Wilkinson also released the limited-edition Sheila Sets Sail/Tribio on the Artist's Valley imprint, part of a collective Wilkinson has with producers Andy Harber and Richard Roberts. The Ovals and Emeralds EP, which featured organ instead of Bibio's usual acoustic guitars, arrived in 2008; Vignetting the Compost followed in 2009. That summer, Bibio moved to Warp for the eclectic Ambivalence Avenue, followed several months later by the release of a remix-heavy album, The Apple and the Tooth. For 2011's Mind Bokeh -- named after the term for the blurry area in a photograph -- Wilkinson moved further away from folktronica and deeper into the meticulously sampled electro/hip-hop direction he began on Ambivalence Avenue. On Bibio's sixth album, 2013's Silver Wilkinson, he balanced the pastoral leanings of his earlier work with a more experimental electronic bent. The Green EP, which featured Silver Wilkinson's "Dye the Water Green" along with several older, previously unreleased tracks, arrived in early 2014. That year, Bibio's original score for the Jason Reitman film Men, Women & Children was also released. On 2016's Mineral Love, Wilkinson dug deeper into his flair for nostalgia, taking inspiration from sources as diverse as TV show themes from the '70s and '80s, and '90s dance music. Though the album's sounds seemed sampled, Mineral Love consisted of entirely new recordings by Wilkinson and collaborators including Gotye and Wax Stag. That year, Wilkinson expanded one of the album's tracks into the Why So Serious EP, adding more collaborations with vocalist Olivier St. Hudson. The following year's Beyond Serious EP reunited Bibio and St. Hudson on tracks inspired by mid- to late-'90s French house music. For that year's full-length, Phantom Brickworks, Wilkinson improvised ambient pieces that used atmosphere and texture to evoke real and imaginary places. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi