Album Reviews

Album review: Wagon Christ – Toomorrow (Ninja Tune)

By | Published on Thursday 24 February 2011

Wagon Christ

The rather talented Luke Vibert first hit us with his Wagon Christ moniker back in 1994 with the seminal ‘Throbbing Pouch’ EP on cult techno imprint Rising High. Since then the West Countryman has given us ‘London bass’ as Plug and fabulous techy-disco under his Kerrier District pseudonym on Rephlex, amongst many others.

It has been a while since his last outing as WC though, but the musical theme of this particular alter ego essentially remains the same: Leftfield beatsy electronica with a curious edge – tripped out samples and bleeps, but with a massive dose of electronic soul and funk. It doesn’t seem quite as experimental as earlier Wagon Christ releases, and at times extends into territories more usually trodden by his other projects. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome new peek into this producer’s creative mind.

And with some ‘Speak And Spell’ synthesised speech at the start, we are led straight in to Vibert’s cerebrum with little ado. The title track is great – warped synths, sweeping strings and a beat made for head nodders – while the chilled out ‘Ain’t He Heavy’ works well and ‘Accordian McShane’ takes you to a Nightmares On Wax ‘Smokers Delight’ type scenario, this theme being then furthered by the funky soul beats of ‘Respectrum’ and ‘Harmoney’.

There are no real nadirs here, though ‘Wake Up’ is not overly exciting, and ‘Sentimental Hardcore’ is fairly bizarre, the samples lifted from straight from his ‘Drum And Bass For Papa’ project. Meanwhile highlights include the old school rave-esque polyrhythms of ‘Manalyse This!’, and better still ‘Lazer Dick’, a more dance orientated track with funky flavours, actually much akin to his work as Kerrier.

A welcome and overdue return. And while the boundaries between Vibert’s different projects may be blurring, he is still delivering the goods. PV

Physical release: 14 Mar