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Album Review

Luke Vibert's first LP for the fellow hip-hop obsessives at Ninja Tune is a back-to-basics record, recycling a few of the same ideas (and, occasionally, samples) of his Wagon Christ classic Throbbing Pouch from 1994. And though it's difficult to knock the pioneering flavor of Throbbing Pouch, Musipal may be an even better record — despite the dozens of hilarious samples that open the album on "The Premise," it's definitely a more mature album, with clearer ideas and a better production framework for them. Though "Thick Stew" uses some very familiar — at least to Wagon Christ fans — syrupy, distorted basslines, it's arguably a better track than the Throbbing Pouch classic. Thankfully, there are only a few nods to the queasy-listening flavor of his wider-issue releases through Astralwerks, and plenty of only-for-the-smokers tracks like "Boney L" and "It Is Always Now, All of It Is Now." Throw in two drum'n'bass burners ("Natural Suction," "Perkission") and an interesting take on up-tempo live funk ("Receiver"), and listeners are left with a solid production LP that can't quite knock off a touchstone like Throbbing Pouch, Rovi


Born: Cornwall, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Luke Vibert is one of a new breed of European club music experimentalists whose work spans several genres simultaneously, and is one of a very few of that set to make any headway with U.S. audiences. A native of Cornwall, Vibert's work has been compared with other West Country bedroom denizens like Aphex Twin and µ-Ziq, although his output over the past few years has been far more eclectic than that connection would seem to imply. Beginning with tweaky post-techno and moving through ambient and experimental...
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Musipal, Wagon Christ
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