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Mineral Love: A Betamax Synth-Funk Journey

 Mineral Love transports me to a 1970s that never existed, a place of wood-trimmed analogue meets internet nuance. Out Friday, April 1 on Warp Records, Bibio's newest album Mineral Love, is another chapter different from what we've heard before from the British producer. “I enjoy the challenge of writing songs that reference the unique qualities and colours of music from different eras. It’s all guesswork though, I have no real reliable knowledge of why certain records sound the way they do,” he said. 

Listening to Mineral Love, I feel like I should be tweeting about roller skates and disco naps, because its not all strictly throwback, there are plenty of contemporary sounds and sequences produced but with a very specific angle or filter.  Songs like "Raxeria," "Wren Tails," and "Town and Country" have great guitar work that sounds influenced from multiple regions of the world and at times evolves in to a psychedelic jam, but what sets these songs apart, again, is the Americana 1970s aesthetic.

"Wren Tails" is a 94-second guitar solo that sounds like it's coming out of a broken record player that sits in the museum of the your fondest memories.

In "Saint Thomas", the frantic old world Europa guitar solo almost has a pre-Renaissance or medieval construction and the recording/ production technique provides that old record player feeling.

Funk-meets-electro-folk might not seem clear on paper, but the sound is well flushed out and realized with Mineral Love. Take "Feeling" for example, the saxophone lead sounds like its on acid and the video is complete eye candy.

“The Way You Talk” features the Australian star Gotye. As can be expected, Gotye's voice sounds amazing and Bibio does pretty interesting things with it. “Something about the way you talk,” sings Gotye with the delay cranked up, layering the phrase repeatedly on top of itself with downtempo synths in the background creating an ethereal ambiance like a blue crystal maze.

Oliver Daysoul is absolutely brilliant on “Why So Serious.” The funk and the electric bass guitar with the vocal, all zero-in on what Bibio executes with this record.  There's a lot to love about this Mineral Love, it's definitely one of Bibio's best works.