Luke Vibert Chicago, Detroit, Redruth

[Planet Mu; 2007]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: everything electronic and beyond
Others: Bruce Haack, Aphex Twin, Venetian Snares, Ceephax

Luke Vibert began his rude-ass tinkering ways in hip-hop with a Beasties-like group in the late ’80s, before refocusing his efforts as a bedroom producer. In the early ’90s, the developing influences on his solo efforts quickly filled his artistic mug, spilling into multiple expressions of electronica. Consequently, Vibert began adopting pseudonyms to cope with all the variety. The first Wagon Christ album appeared in ’94 as an outlet for Vibert’s more ambient-based work, while his first drum & bass ego, Plug, popped up a couple years later. By ’99, he had begun collecting personalities like most of us collect STDs: "Kerrier District" handled his mutant disco house, "Amen Andrew" uses the Amen Break for all his drum ’n’ bass, "Spac Hand Luke" covered grime, and recently "Ace Of Clubs" became a pure acid outlet. Despite the multiple personalities, Vibert also released music under his own name, which dealt with more hip-hop- and acid-oriented flows. So, where does that leave his second eponymous album for Planet Mu?

Judging from the hodgepodge of styles and sounds within, Chicago, Detroit, Redruth seems to be a home for Vibert's newer tracks that aren’t easily classifiable. With Ace Of Club’s debut taking care of his acid-hop itch earlier this year, it now appears that aimless variety is the order of the day, with Vibert’s incredibly bright, creative guiding light holding the center of attention. Drawing on all his various styles, “Comfycozy” blends some ambient organica with his Plug-style drum ‘n’ bass, while “Brain Rave,” “Radio Savalas,” and “Argument Fly” bring all the 303 acid you can handle. “Breakbeat Metal Music” channels deep house through speak-and-spell hell, with “God” pimping Enigma doing huge bass trip-hop madness and “Rotting Flesh Bags” covering straight-up space hip-hop territory. Acid sounds and Luke’s trademark warm, analog beats are the eye of the aural storm, where anything and everything else goes.

Now, I don’t believe Chicago, Detroit, Redruth is Vibert's best work to date – that definitely falls to personal preference – but newbies have to start somewhere. Chicago, Detroit, Redruth is just as good a place as anywhere else, made more so by the unique electronic jumble it has to offer. Once you’re in, though, prepare to hunt down a lot of back catalog. There’s a lotta gold in them thar hills.

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