Wagon Christ - Toomorrow

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  • It seems like sooner or later every electronic artist who uses multiple aliases eventually drops the pretense and consolidates them all under one logoed awning. I kind of figured that had happened with Luke Vibert as well. It made sense: Vibert's done a lot of work over a long period under a few names (Wagon Christ for hip-hop derivations, Kerrier District for more disco-sounding stuff), but his recent work for Planet Mu, his old buddy Mike Paradinas's label, pointed to a simplifying of things. Besides, it was the work credited to Luke Vibert that always consolidated everything anyway. Vibert's 2007 Planet Mu album Chicago, Detroit, Redruth, along with the Carl Craig remix renaissance of 2006, helped me realize just how much jam a lot of older dance artists still had. So Toomorrow is mostly a surprise in that it's definitely, positively a Wagon Christ album. You can suss it from the next room. Wagon Christ is where Vibert laces breakbeats with froth most determinedly—there's a tipsy quality to the project that's right in line with the '50s cocktail instrumentals that is the music's spiritual and, to a degree, material source, since 1995's Throbbing Pouch (one of the decade's great albums, ripe for rediscovery, cough cough ahem ahem). Ninja Tune has always valued levity from its sample-slingers, but Toomorrow goes beyond that. It's airy, sweet and tart, like a good meringue. It's also very jokey, which is probably the album's real make-or-break aspect. Vocal samples are a big part of the Wagon Christ project, and here Vibert layers them on particularly thick: "Toomorrow" plays out with disjointed spoken bits that answer each other in line (from the latter: "Get on the dance floor!" "Get on it." "Ah-one-two, ah-one two"), skirting outright silliness but never quite turning into a joke. Vibert is too crafty for that—we get a slow, relaxed jungle break and whirligig Hollywood strings to chew on; when the track breaks down halfway through, it just turns into a lovely piece of music. He can whip the top into froth because the foundation is sturdy. Toomorrow is a continuation of something began in the mid-'90s, and it stays true to that era. A few years ago that might have seemed quaint, but in 2011? Sure, why not?
  • Tracklist
      01. Introfunktion 02. Toomorrow 03. Manalyze This! 04. Ain't He Heavy, He's My Brother 05. Accordian McShane 06. My Lonely Scene 07. Respectrum 08. Rennie Codgers 09. Oh, I'm Tired 10. Wake Up 11. Lazer Dick 12. Sentimental Hardcore 13. Chunkothy 14. Harmoney 15. Mr. Mukatsuku