electronica Folktronica funk review RnB saxophone Soul vocoder

Bibio – Sunbursting EP Review

Mixing 70s supermarket funk with 80s R&B grooves for the ultimate retro seduction package

What does Bibio sound like?

Guitar electronica artist embraces his full soul funk side.

The review of Bibio – Sunbursting EP

Following on from his Bib10 album, Bibio fully embraces the smooth and seductive blend of R&B, funk, soul and what I’d call 70s supermarket jingle music. That album explored it for the first half before Bibio spiralled off into other genres. This EP fully explores that style of music. It’s probably the only EP I own that could score a ’70s TV show, an ’80s grocery shop and a ’90s sex scene.

photo of Bibio

Part of what makes this album shine is just how effortlessly seductive and smooth it is. The guitars never sit still, wahwahing, plucking or flicking around like it’s trying to take your clothes off. Bibio’s voice works on tracks like ‘A Matter of Fact’ where his folktronica side aids the sexy smoothness of it all. The thick hyperproduction of the synths and drums plays a huge role across the release. Sometimes it is the bass groove on the jazzy fun of ‘All of the Above’, which is heavily vocoded like a Casio track. Other times it is the blissed-out hippy folk nature that bleeds across the speakers like ‘Rosewoods’. The vibraphones and smooth saxophones had me waiting for Bob Ross to come out and start a painting.

Whilst ‘Rosewoods’ is a definite highlight for me with the way it constantly shapeshifts into a new way to make me feel like I’m in a 1975 bar, the other ballad is equally stunning. ‘Sunbursting feat Óskar Guðjónsson’ is the sole lightly produced track and features trademark Bibio electroacoustic guitar riffs sculpting a beautiful saxophone performance from Óskar. It’s positively dreamy and wouldn’t feel out of place on many of Bibio’s albums – especially ‘Silver Wilkinson’ or perhaps ‘Mind Bokeh’.

The other two tracks I want to shout about despite not being an immediate genre fan are the opening two on the EP. ‘Shine A Light On Your Mirror’ has so much funk and swag in its electric guitar solo led approach, it’s infectious. Between the guitars and the unison of electric piano, glockenspiel and saxophones ushering in smooth smiles, you can’t help but feel lighter. ‘Sorry (Won’t Cut It) feat Olivier St Louis’ stands out for Olivier’s vocal performance. It’s vintage and classic R&B. You can’t tell where the guitar stops and the vocoder begins as the shuffling beats and swaying instruments slide effortlessly into your mind.

Whereas ‘Avenue Ambivilence’ was so funky it slapped, ‘Sunbursting EP’ is far more chilled and relaxed. The funk is far more intricate, involved and fully formed here. The complex production works a treat and the harks back to the more folkgaze eras of Bibio are always welcome. We know Bibio won’t do the same thing twice so this will naturally close out the era. He closes it out in style.

Recommended track: Rosewoods

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Bibio - Sunbursting EP



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