Album 0108: Bibio – Hand Cranked

Release Date: 2006
Genre: Electronica/Folk

Tracklisting:

1. The Cranking House (02:01)
2. Cherry Go Round (05:53)
3. Quantock (04:07)
4. Black Country Blue (02:08)
5. Marram (02:08)
6. Aberriw (01:46)
7. Zoopraxiphone (03:53)
8. DYFI (04:02)
9. Ffwrnais (03:11)
10. Woodington (05:19)
11. Above The Rooftops (03:41)
12. Snowbow (03:45)
13. Maroon Lagoon (02:38)
14. Overgrown (05:46)

Total Length: 50:17

The Cranking House gets right into this weird mixture of an album. It’s a bunch of natural sounds (or things that feel natural) made by someone who specializes in electronic music and sequencing and the like. The blend is certainly unique. Cherry Go Round has all of these elements that for some reason bring out a very odd nostalgia in me. It all feels like something I heard long ago, as a child, but I can’t place it. In fact, the weirdest thing by far about this album is simply that listening to this track somehow made me flash back to spending time at my dad’s house watching Bible cartoons and doing puzzles. This song just gives me all kinds of feelings that I can’t quite the place and so I love it for that.

Quantock continues in the same vein being weirdly evocative of things I can’t quite describe. The atmosphere here is just disturbing in a good way. Black Country Blue is just a not-very-good droning song, but I suppose it could work as a breather song. Marram is cool but then ends very quickly. Aberriw is an anomaly for the album in that it has some vocals, and they work pretty well but again the track is very short and ends before fully exploring the idea. This little run of short songs really aren’t too great.

Zoopraxiphone gets back on track and is fairly good. DYFI also is really cool, I like all the loops doing their thing. Ffwrnais tries some odd deal by having running water in the background but the track really doesn’t work for me. Woodington similarly isn’t very interesting. Above The Rooftops starts off with a cool repeating piano line and it makes the entire track kind of a joy to listen to. Snowbow is a more atmospheric piece, but not that good.

Maroon Lagoon is a nice smaller song, it actually does kind of evoke the feeling of a lagoon-type area. Overgrown is a bit too long though. It evokes some good feelings, but then doesn’t go anywhere really. This album is very front heavy as far as things that I like about it, and probably would have liked it more overall if it was a shorter album, but I can’t deny how interesting those first few tracks are.

Final Rating: 7/10

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