Wagon Christ (the oldest of Luke Vibert’s numerous pseudonyms) has returned to charm listeners with the first series of bops, blips, and bleeps, since the release of Sorry I Make You Lush in 2004.
Avid Wagon Christ fans may be a bit disappointed with this latest release. While it does contain all the components of the fully functioning breakbeat extravaganza that you’re no doubt looking for, it fails to deliver anything fresh.
Vibert has a real soft spot for certain samples which he seems to re-use on number of different tracks. Arguably this helps maintain the distinct sound that he’s created but in reality it makes for some tedious listening. ‘Manalyze This’, for example uses the same primary sample as ‘Rendleshack’ from Tally Ho!, an album released over 12 years ago. This has an odd effect as you may find yourself toe tapping to a song that you don’t actually care for simply because some dim nostalgia button in the back of your mind is saying “you like this”. Luke Vibert’s repetition of samples is no secret and he has used this trait to his advantage in the past but this album is absolutely littered with rehashed snippets. It’s as if he’s attempting to latch on to past glories in order to hide his current prosaicness.
Toomorrow is a radiant slice of trip hop absurdity that maintains an energetic tone throughout. Tracks like ‘Harmoney’ and ‘Chunkothy’ stick out among the rest and are a jovial kick in the bits while ‘Respectrum’ is reminiscent of Vibert’s old school funkier nature. All the elements of a great Wagon Christ album are evident in here: trademark fat bass lines, ludicrous vocal samples, and colourfully downtempo beats but it still doesn’t deliver like you want it to. This album is undoubtedly entertaining but it could scarcely be labelled quality music.