It’s a new week so it stands to reason it’s time for a new album from the mercurial genius of Luke Vibert. Not content with his excursions into acid for Warp Records and his hardcore jungle and disco house albums for Rephlex, he’s now returned to his Wagon Christ guise to deliver another master-class in squelchy breaks and beats for Ninja Tune.
For his follow-up to the acclaimed Musipal, the Cornish wunderkind has returned to mine the same rich musical seam. In other words, hip-hop, acid, breaks and rave are fed it through what sounds like some Heath Robinson-esque contraption to produce a classic that always sounds like it is on the verge of collapsing into itself.
Kicking off with the joyously sun-kissed Saddic Gladdic, you know you’re in vintage Vibert territory here. There’s a childlike sense of adventure to his music that is instantly recognisable, which ever genre he’s currently deconstructing. Kitsch sci-fi sound effects, drum breaks that have more spring in them than an Olympic trampoline and some of the most gorgeous melodies you’ll come across this year are all topped with the sort of spoken word samples that in other hands could easily come across as naff but here set the tone perfectly.
Highlights of the album have to be the ethereal and beautiful Shadows, where a mournful female voice floats above a gorgeous organ riff, and the ridiculously good Sci-Fi Staircase that manages to sound like Orbital at their prime with its arpeggiated synth and sublime bass and acid break in the middle that is just screaming out to be played on the biggest sound-system you can find.
So Vibert does it again, effortlessly it seems, able to jump at will from genre to genre yet always maintaining his own character and level of quality. If his music weren’t quite so good it would be easy to take an envious dislike to the man, but as long as he keeps churning out the goods, we’ll just have to sit back and marvel.