Written by Gary Suarez
Sunday, 09 September 2007
It may have taken a few years longer than hoped, but that other Cornish madman has at last perfected the formula he has relentlessly toiled over with this batch of infectiously quirky acid-blasted instant classics. The chronic unevenness that hindered many of his releases this century is noticeably absent from this gooey mix of "grown folks" electronica.
2007 is shaping up to be quite productive for Vibert. Chicago, Detroit, Redruth, his second long player for Planet Mu, was preceded by The Ace Of Clubs' Benefist album and Rubber Chunks EP on Firstcask. Furthermore, he unleashed a whole slew of digital reissues exclusively via Warp Records' Bleep.Com download service, including several out-of-print Wagon Christ releases and the coveted Plug album Drum 'n' Bass For Papa. As for the remaining months, Lo Recordings is just about to drop his anticipated full length Moog Acid collaboration with the legendary Jean Jacques Perrey, and, according to the Rephlex website, a follow-up to 1993's Vibert/Simmonds album appears due out this year. Still, without having heard these latter two releases, Chicago, Detroit, Redruth is positioned to be his finest this decade.
Though remarkably cohesive as a whole, the album engages in a fair bit of genre hopping throughout, from the dangling boom-bap and fidgety squiggles of "Clikilik" to the astonishingly straightforward Plus8-referencing techno of "Argument Fly." Spectacular opener "ComfyCozy" brilliantly slaps a drum n' bass rhythm against a piano-driven jazz performance gilded with electronic touches, recalling for this fan the very first time he heard the aforementioned Plug. As expected, Vibert doles out invigorating acid like "Brain Rave" and the joyously retrospective title track. However, there are some real surprises here, such as "Swet," an eight-minute freaky groove that tactfully samples the instantly recognizable doorbell sequence from The Jetsons. Here, an unanticipated maturity surfaces from a producer oft noted for having his tongue permanently stationed in his cheek.
Of course, the sacred Roland TB-303 box returns as a pivotal weapon in the Vibertian arsenal, delivering those signature squelchy sequences that simply cannot be beat. However, the artist has finally mastered just how to best use that invaluable box in the context of his irreverent yet enticing productions, far more so than on less satisfying affairs like YosepH and Lover's Acid. But any music geek worth his salt knows that acid was—and is—more than a box. The essence of those good old days dominates on "Breakbeat Metal Music," which only sparingly utilizes the 303, and the heavenly "Radio Savalas."
With nary a drippy track in the bunch, Chicago, Detroit, Redruth redeems the unsettlingly hit-or-miss nature of his 21st century work, be it Kerrier District's daft disco, Wagon Christ's kitsch-funk, or any number of styles wielded by his elusive collection of monikers. Though last year's high-energy-meets-deep-bass Amen Andrews vs Spac Hand Luke deviated delightfully from that trend, this new set for Planet Mu represents a creative triumph from a producer who now appears unstoppable.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay