Album Review: Bibio – Phantom Brickworks

Wolverhampton electronic musician Stephen Wilkinson delivers his eighth album.

True to its title, Phantom Brickworks is nine extended ambient tracks – audio portals built to access haunted serene settings. The seventeen-minute ‘Phantom Brickworks II’ begins with the ebb and flow of trickling water, building a minimal mural of thick mist over a park during a wintry sunrise. Samples of heavily echoed pianos and classical strings create a natural air of mystery.

However, as the loops become impossible to tell apart, the atmosphere becomes more alien and toxic. Then builds a more disjointed entanglement of percussive jangling, gusts of white noise and Geiger counter-style clicks, pops and squeaks. This unity of nature and unearthliness, means that the samples of a child’s laughter take on gloomier contexts, leading to a fascinatingly haunting record.

4/5

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