WAGON CHRIST: Toomorrow (Ninja Tune)


Posted on Mar 2nd 2011 01:23 am

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Wagon Christ: Toomorrow

Ninja Tune 2011
15 Tracks. 60mins51secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

In 1994, a young Luke Vibert was making his first solo foray onto the music scene following his collaboration with Jeremy Simmonds, published on Rephlex only a few months prior, with a collection of lush ambient pieces, but this was more an accident than a conscious choice. Indeed, all Vibert was doing then was to give his then label, Rising High, what they wanted from him. His second album was a different affair altogether as he turned the tables on them by injecting hefty doses of hip-hop beats and grooves. Since, he has appeared under countless guises, each more or less dedicated to a particular genre or take on a genre, collaborated with artists as diverse as BJ Cole or Jean-Jacques Perrey and found his way on labels including Ninja Tune, Planet Mu, Rephlex, Lo Recordings, Warp, Mo Wax, Law & Awder and many more.

Toomorrow marks Vibert’s return to his trademark Wagon Christ sound. Weaving together hip-hop, odd psychedelic pop, library music, cheesy sound effects and samples, elements of acid and whatever else he happens to put his hands on, seemingly at random, Vibert creates here as eclectic and distorted a soundtrack as he ever has. In turn surprising, delighting or damn right scary, his constructions seem chaotic and irreverent, bulging at the seams with colourful ideas. But all this chaos is, like in previous outputs, very much organised and intended, and is actually devised with great care to hit the spot at exactly the right time. This is very obvious right from the title track, with its tongue in cheek groove, mixed vocal samples and quirky collection of sounds and noises, or later on Accordian Mcshane, where he layers a mighty fine drum pattern over a beautifully rounded bass, only to stick a rather overwhelming organ on top of it all, or on Respectrum, where he distills a classy seventies funk groove.

Toomorrow is a bit like a rave taken over by kids. There are moments of mighty fine dance floor bonanza as he splatters a dissonant keyboard loop over an incisive acid-tinged bass on Manalyze This!, piles up more chunky acid drops on an overstepping beat and playful samples for Wake Up, props up a Kerrier District-infused discoid set up on Lazer Dick or clears the floor on Ain’t He Heavy, He‘s My Brother or Chunkothy for a spot of hazy funk à la Nightmares On Wax. Elsewhere, things are slightly more settled. My Lonely Scene is like electro in serious need of defrosting, Rennie Codgers has ‘Blackpool interlude’ all over it while the lazy sunny afternoon tone of Sentimental Hardcore helps shake off the slightly maddening trumpet motif that keeps on popping up pretty much throughout.

As he lines up his tunes, in apparently totally random order, Vibert deliberately plays with perceptions and challenges conventions, casually jumping from one mood to another, often with no prior warning, yet making it all sound somewhat coherent. This is nothing new of course, for this seasoned musician has been at it for near enough fifteen years, but Toomorrow is proof if ever it was needed that he has lost none of his verve.


Luke Vibert/Wagon Christ | Luke Vibert (MySpace) | Ninja Tune
Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

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