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Luke Vibert Bizarster

Bizarster

Punning titles, check. Jazzy flourishes, check. Crisp hip hop drums, check. Incredibly, Bizarster is 42-year-old Vibert's 24th proper record, not counting the dozens of EPs, singles and remixes he's released since 1993. He's an artist who's found what he's good at and sticks to it, with consistently enjoyable results.

Opener 'Knockout' is the most out-of-character cut on the album, with Luke turning his hand to the kind of colourful grime instrumental that Joker made his name with. An ominous bassline, heavier than anything else in Vibert's catalogue, ensures the track delivers on its titular promise. It's fast, punchy and addictive. Elsewhere, he slows the tempo for spooky acid-jam 'Manolog' and, as with 2002's 'Homewerk'single, makes a sonic nod to Kraftwerk on 'L Tronic'.

As with many Vibert albums, there's an over-reliance on stock samples that are often lacking in imagination - “Knockout!”, “Can you feel it?”, “Let's get ready to rumble!” - and some of the stuff here he could turn out in his sleep ('Hey Go'and 'Officer's Club'are forgettable). But he knows his way around a melody and the productions are as tight as ever, such as on the infectiously bouncy 'Ghetto Blast Ya' and the splashy 'Power Press', which even includes a sample from Negativland's 1987 horological classic 'Time Zones', proving that he can find more obscure sources when he wants to.

The album's high point is penultimate track 'Doozit', with a woozy, autumnal guitar line that lends the tune an aimlessly pretty, cod-Oriental feel. Vibert finishes on an Amen smasher, signing off with pitch-bending madness and ragga vocals (“Don't fuck arou-uund!”) layered over some of his wildest drum work yet. Vibert doesn't change much - but then again, he doesn't really need to.

Sam Gregory

by Now Then Sheffield
Filed under: Luke Vibert