Sunday, July 02, 2006

Two from Vibert

Luke Vibert, the ultimate electronic jack of all trades is back in August with two simultaneous album releases on Rephlex. One under his Kerrier District disco moniker and the other a tussle between his drum'n'bass alias Amen Andrews and grime/dubstep nom de plume, Spac Hand Luke.

Kerrier District 2 first: another doff of the cap to Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani's Metro Area project drawing on elements of Italo disco and even classic house. Unusually for Vibert, this stuff occasionally sounds quite like contemporary club music - "Robotuss" could be a slightly groovier M.A.N.D.Y. remix. Still there's never any suggestion that he's looking for affiliation to the dance music club on this second installment, like his contemporaries – Aphex, Squarepusher and Mike Paradinas – he’s still fundamentally Cornish in his resistance to trends.

Flipping to the Amen Andrews vs. Spac Hand Luke release, the complementary release date makes a clear statement about this willful disregard for the conventions of consistency and scenesterism. That or he just came across a bunch of good tracks from his old PC and couldn’t resist dropping a few into the line-up. Certainly, some of the Amen Andrews record sounds like an outtake from his earlier Plug releases.

Of his appropriation of all these styles - with the exception of disco all of them ‘authentically’ birthed in the inner city - it’s hard to decide if ‘homage’ justifies the project. Unlike Squarepusher, who sneers a little too much as he’s programming a 2 step beat, Vibert’s creations are always crafted with the loving attention of a genuine fan, even if some of the genre conventions – rudeboy raga samples on his jungle tracks for example – are comically exaggerated. Being free of all the rigors of affiliation though, Spac Hand Luke gets to push the grime/dubstep (usually closer to 2 steps’s proto dubstep darkside) template into interesting shapes which would never be allowed within these scenes' micro-fixation on the month-to-month sound trend.


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