Luke Vibert: Lover's Acid
Planet Mu

Could there possibly be another sound more associated with a particular era than Acid techno? The squelchy 303 synths bleeding all over these twelve tracks from Warp and Rephlex mainstay Luke Vibert literally scream out the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, so much so one wonders how the material will sound in another decade or two. That's not to suggest the style is immune to updating—The Dancing Box, Tadd Mullinix's recent James T. Cotton outing, shows just how splendidly the genre can be re-imagined in the right hands—but Vibert has no such lofty ambition in mind here. He's too busy conjuring an old-school party vibe to worry about such matters, though he does bring his usual irreverence to the set, preventing the music from ever getting too serious.

The hour-long disc compiles three 12-inch releases, '95-'99 (2000), Homewerk (2002), and the new Lover's Acid, which shares the full-length's title though issues its four latest tracks on its own 12-inch. Those already possessing the earlier material will be pleased to learn that the album's songs are mixed together, as opposed to sequenced in their order on the three discs. While some tracks hew to the standard Acid template of coiled synth loops and grimy funk breaks (“Funky Acid Stuff,” “Cash 'N' Carry Acid”), others pursue novel tangents; “Dirty Fucker” includes a stuttering hint of drum & bass while the title track's laconically gliding groove sounds positively sun-soaked. Vibert's Wagon Christ persona intrudes too on the shimmying, clavinet-laden “Flyover” and the languid funk-styled “Gwithian” where flute touches add a jazzy ‘60s-lounge feel.

As stated, Vibert doesn't rewrite the Acid rulebook on these tracks but diehard fanatics won't mind. Still, the question of freshness lingers, especially when a blatantly derivative track like “Homewerk” incorporates Computerworld-era Kraftwerk and over-used “Funky Drummer” beats. Other material, however, is so strong it renders the issue moot; pondering such matters seems misguided when the slamming breaks, rolling snares, and chopped shout-outs drop in the massive throwdown “Come On Chaos.”

May 2005