Instrumental Hip-Hop



UK knob-twiddler Luke Vibert is one of those DJ Age producers who annoyingly refuses to stick to just one name or sound. As Plug, he plundered drum 'n' bass with such aplomb that Trent Reznor handpicked him to open up a Nine Inch Nails tour. Now getting back to the dry English wit and the thankfully less dry instrumental hip hop of his Wagon Christ persona, the Vibe man tries to inject a playfulness into his midtempo beat collaging. Trouble is he comes off like a cross between DJ Spooky and Rich Little — it's music that's supposed to be about music and even making fun of it a little.

So we get mid-tempo romps with unlikely sound sources — children's records, cut-up phone sex tapes — and a tongue-in-cheek jazz sensibility. While not terrible, its random, run-on beat ideas are heavy on twinkles and atmo-jazz, but light on any bumpin' electricity. "Crazy Disco Party" is a misnomer; it sounds more like Deee-Lite trying to make an easy-listening track, full of sci-noises, twinkling piano and swoopy bass. The title track mixes live drum samples, more weird noises and more swooping sonic oddities for an extraterrestrial bit of digi-funk. In the end, Vibert's eccentricities don't make for a better record, just a more amusing one.

What could have been Aphex Twin flashing a demonic grin is just the tepid beat reverence of DJ Shadow lightening up to a smirk.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.