04 Monday 04th April 2011

So, 'bokeh' means the aesthetic quality of blur in a photograph. What does 'Mind Bokeh' mean?

The aesthetic quality of defocusing one's mind. It doesn't mean blurred in a drunken sense. It's more spiritual than that.

Your three releases in 2009 saw you moving from more rustic themes and sounds towards a sharper sound with more pop and hip-hop influences. The sampler for Mind Bokeh sounds like it continues that trend. How do you see this latest addition to your catalogue?

It's all music to me, it's all me too. So far I've been asked about this evolution a lot. I guess the listener only hears a fraction of everything I do, so I suppose the evolution sounds more like abrupt steps to them. For me there's a natural progression. Music is often about faking for me, but faking in the illusory sense, in the same way a film director fakes an event or story through the medium of cinema or the way an actor fakes an emotion through the power of acting. If the director or actor convinces the audience, then the illusion is successful.

When I listen to music, I want to be convinced, or I want to be taken somewhere. Music is kindling for the imagination for me, and that's what I try to instill in my music. Whether that be trying to convince the listener they are in a faded and yellowed John Constable-esque idyllic rural scene, or trying to convince of being in a VHS-warbled 80s penthouse apartment, I guess most of the time there's a nostalgia by playing with that combination of suggestiveness and explicitness. People who think Bibio should stick to making exclusively folky guitar loops don't really understand what I'm about, however, that side of me isn't buried, I'm still writing tracks in that vein all the time, but whether I release them depends on what illusion I want the listener to feel next. Why try and remake the same film?

Listening to your (awesome) sampler, it seems that your vocals are quite different on this album – more funk than folk. Do you think that's right, and were you conscious of it while making the album?

It's impossible to not be conscious of what you're doing when you listen to the same tracks over and over countless times. I think there were moments of funk on Ambivalence Avenue, tracks like 'Jealous of Roses' for example, but I guess I've busted out the funk more on this album. This is more of a body album than previous albums, it's still an album for the mind (hence the title), but I believe that the urge to dance is just as mysterious and bottomlessly profound as music that makes people stroke their beards. Haha, I just realised that there's a beard stroking reference in the track 'Wake Up!', but again that's a more spiritual reference rather than a proud intellectual one.

Do you have any favourites among your new songs?

Hard to say, it changes all the time. Probably Pretentious, Anything New, Artists' Valley and Saint Christopher.

What are you listening to these days?

Prince - Prince
Scott Walker - Scott 3
John Coltrane - as much as I can get my hands on
John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman - anything
Django Reinhardt - again, anything
Baris Manco - all the 70s stuff
Strong Arm Steady - In Search of Stony Jackson
and of course, the one and only handsome duo known as Letherette.

Mind Bokeh is released TODAY, 4/4/11, on Warp - look for it and possible tour dates at

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