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Bibio Hand Cranked

Stephen "Bibio" Wilkinson can make any acoustic guitar sound mystical and enchanted just by recording it on a broken tape deck. On Fi, his poorly magnetized recordings of pastoral folk melodies were oddly beautiful in their frailty. Hand Cranked continues with that no-fi studio method, but this time he fleshes out his songs. "Cherry Go Round" is a dizzying play of guitar loops, while the foggy, shoegazer harmonies of "Black Country Blue" are brilliantly evanescent. Several songs wouldn't be memorable if it weren't for their ancient sound quality. But in our age of bloodless pop productions, Wilkinson is still welcome.

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