Release Date: Oct 16, 2015
Record label: Planet Mu
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
A few things to know about Luke Vibert: he's a joker, he doesn't care about rules and he can make just about anything. Every fan has their favourite side of Vibert. For some it's his own favourite, Wagon Christ, one of the original aliases marrying downtempo, hip-hop and breakbeat together. There's Amen Andrews (junglist Vibert), and before that Plug, which is more drum & bass.
Thanks in part to a Trent Reznor co-sign, American electronica listeners were introduced to the peculiar talents of producer Luke Vibert in 1997 by Drum 'n' Bass for Papa. Released under his Plug alias, it wasn't his first album, but Vibert's caffeinated take on the still-underground dance form was given Interscope distribution. This meant that many stateside listeners were introduced to drum'n'bass via Vibert's goofy and furious rollercoaster tracks set to offbeat samples, like John Goodman's howling admonishment from Barton Fink: "I'LL.
Being retro has been trendy in dance music ever since there was something to be retrospective about. The key to being relevant lies in whether you anticipate or ride the wave of whichever revival is sweeping dance floors across the globe, or plough a lone furrow obstinately harking back to whichever golden age your rose tinted glasses focus on. To refer to the 42-year-old Luke Vibert as ‘retro’, when Bizarster marks his seventh album under his own name, and falls 22 years after the release of his debut full length would say more about my millennial sensibilities than Vibert’s music; but at the same time, it is a question of whether he is looking back to the right moments of his illustrious career.
Sometimes when you do so much looking forward, you have to look back once in a while to get some perspective. Bizarster, Vibert's seventh album under his own name — and, astoundingly, his 24th LP overall — plays like an hour-long jaunt through electronic music's more buoyant history.Granted, Vibert has always had a penchant for yesteryear, but this has usually been a minor factor — an early house cut here, a bygone instructional video sample there, the odd sci-fi aesthetic — rather that the dominating characteristic, as it is on Bizarster. "Ghetto Blast Ya" is a veritable sonic time machine, blending rave-y synth stabs, sirens, spin-backs and feel-good vocals into a decidedly '90s concoction.