Reviewed by The Silent Ballet
Okay, it’s a given that Luke Vibert brings the ‘hurt’. I mean, come on, it rhymes. One needs to only look at ‘I before E except after C’ or ‘beer before liquor; get sick quicker’ to validate this belief of if-it’s-true-it-must-rhyme-ism. Further proof on this universal law can be seen on track 6, “Clikilik”, but let’s pause for a bit before we get too far into Chicago, Detroit, Redruth (it’s Luke’s hometown if you’re wondering… har har).
Luke Vibert has been on the scene for quite a bit. What scene? Answer: D, all of the above. From his self-titled acid master bits to his epic drum n’ bass (where he ‘freaks techniques’ under the Plug moniker) to his terrific trip-hopping tirades as Wagon Christ, he’s had his way with them all. Not only has he been carelessly corrupting various genres without hesitation or remorse, he remains to be one of the most unique and interesting of each. Vibert has a true style and flavor that evolves from his behavior (note: rhyme). Sorry for the schpeel, but I have a special place in my heart for this guy. Chicago, Detroit, Redruth is actually one of the two albums he has released in the past two months with apparently another one coming out pretty soon... along with the three recently released EP’s. I don’t know what to say about that, other than he must’ve found a magnificent meth dealer.
Now onto the music. Opening track “ComfyCozy” is pretty much a straight-up ‘jazz-handed’ piano melody backed up with some of the good ol’ Vibert flair. The artist adds to the palette some atmospheric acid synth lines, and splashes in a bit of leftover drum n’ bass for good measure. To me, it really is a marriage of his main music monikers (a trifecta, if you will), which leads to a pretty remarkable track. Being the introduction to the album, the interlude towards the end of the track equates (in my eyes) to the traveling through a wormhole. Upon exiting said shortcut, we are able to easily reach Vibert’s acid planet upon the start of the second track, “Brain Rave.”
It’s a very ‘free’ album, and I mean that in a couple ways here. On tracks such as “Radio Salavas,” the synths feel as though they are effortlessly floating through a very spacious region (probably outer space), heading ‘on+on’ to a destination unknown (though chances are it’s probably someone’s ears). The additions of extra ambient elements that exist on some of these tracks are very welcomed. I also mean ‘free’ in the sense of style. Although it is all on an alien acid planet, it seems as though the tracks scatter its globe. It might just be me (or the acid), but I feel as though he went through a few more styles than he has done on his previous self-titled albums.
As we continue onwards, scouring various areas of low pH, “Breakbeat Metal Music” comes across as one of the weaker tracks. Mainly, for me, the male metallic vocals come off a little cheesy. I actually liked this track quite a bit first time around, but it sort of wears down after a few listens. Not really a bad song, per se, but maybe not up to par with the rest this album has to offer.
The following track, “God,” sparingly uses simple samples of thy God’s name and the flexibility of the word: pleasure, fear, prayer, shock (but don’t get too cocky God. ‘Fuck’ still fucking fucks you the fuck up with its flexibility). Complete with a backing choir, the spaciousness of the track suits the subject well. I’d also like to mention I decided not to take off any points for the fact that God does not exist. “Clikilik” opens up with metallic vocals that, luckily, work better than her male counterpart (in “Breakbeat Metal Music”), but that’s a given because the vocals rhyme. The acid synth lines after the metal lady’s voice runs out of batteries turn the ‘clickin’ beat to ‘kickin’ (reference to the rhyme you haven’t heard). Arriving afterwards is “Argument Fly”, an all out acid epic clocking in at 7:53, which, sadly, is a few minutes too long. You can check the litmus, but I don’t think the melody is really strong enough to carry the track though the whole journey. In the end, it doesn’t really go anywhere worthy, causing it to get a bit monotonous. I do think that perhaps it could’ve been re-edited to a great three or four minute song… but alas, it was not meant to be.
“Rotting Flesh Bags” is an eerie track that would settle in nicely in any post-apocalyptic zombie-infested soundtrack, which, based on the title itself, is surely what was intended (and probably the only reason I got those visuals to be honest… but it does work). I’m going to really go out there and say hand clapping can usually come off as pretty lame. I’m not sure if there are actual hands being clapped or if it just sounds as if there is, but it works very well in this track. I also noticed shortly after writing this that there certainly is similar sounding percussion in a couple of the following tracks (that work well as well). I’d have to assume the zombies either ate or destroyed the drums (or perhaps stole them and started a 60’s pop band). Either way, you got to work with what you got, you know?
This release was put out on μ-Ziq’s label, aptly titled Planet Mu, and it appears as though Vibert has been listening to μ-Ziq’s Duntisbourne Abbots Soulmate Devastation Technique a bit based on the sludgy broken down ambient effects on “Comphex.” It does work quite well though and is one of my favorite tracks on the album. μ-Ziq did ‘borrow’ “Acid Steak Night” from Vibert, so I say its fair game. “Rapperdaacid” fills Vibert’s requirement of having at least one track with ‘acid’ in the title, which I was afraid he was going to forget about this time around. As the name does suggest, it simply sounds like a rap beat turned acidic. Really not much else to say about it. “Swet”, the final track, really ends the album on an up note. The longest and perhaps most interesting track, it really goes all out in typical all-over-the-place-but-still-awesome Vibert fashion. To keep a long song short, it samples the Jetson’s doorbell. ‘Nuff said. Only beef I have with it is the 15 second, Daedelus-ish, old school sample which ends the album. After tracks like Lemon Jelly’s “Nice Weather for Ducks”, those samples are getting sort of old (yeah yeah…shut the fuck up).
Despite a few slight missteps, Chicago, Detroit, Redruth is an awesome album with some intriguing ambient inflections. Its impressive how Vibert can consistently put out “banging” tracks while staying quite unique, which just goes to further the notion of what a marvelous creative tool weed is.
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