There are some artists that I'm just flat-out a sucker for. When I first started developing a love for electronic music, there were a batch of artists that continually blew my mind and kept drawing me further and further into the fray. Some of the obvious names were Aphex Twin, The Orb, Autechre, Orbital, U-Ziq, and yes even Moby (which seems like almost a dirty name now). Another one of those artists was Luke Vibert under varying names (his own, Wagon Christ, and Plug) that had me psyched with pretty much each release. I always seemed to find someting new in their work, and Vibert was no different, throwing out tons of music under a variety of names and genres.
Having said that, Yoseph is an album that's comforting for different reasons. Instead of finding much new in it, it's a throwback to about 10 years ago when acid was king and the genre was still young and full of possibilities. A decade later, electronic music has been splintered into scores of micro-genres, from glitch to whatever the latest trend is on the pens of critics everywhere (a personal favorite is splattercore). Basically, Yoseph is one of those releases that could have come out last week, it could have come out last year, or it could have even arrived 10 years ago. Instead of looking forward, Vibert has looked back, and while it doesn't make for a groundbreaking release, it's still a darn fun one.
One of the things I've always liked about Vibert is that his sense of humor always seems to show through on his releases. He's not afraid to toss in a sample, sound, or melody that most people would consider silly or cheesy and actually seems to revel in that fact. In fact, YosepH might be the stupid-fun album of the year, if it were a bit more stupid. Vibert is a guy who's been creating music for some time now, and even if this disc is just him toddling about, it's better than a lot of what's out there. Opening with the tinny tones of "Liptones," the track gets in right order as a super-juicy bassline starts warbling the whole thing slides along like a breakdancer on the smooth.
Of course, he's just setting you up a bit, and things slow get cranked up from there. "FreakTimeBaby" wears a sample into the ground over a fat 303 acid squiggle and a chunky beat while "Countdown" rumbles out some spluttering breakbeats and another bassline that will make knees wobble. The album really hits its stride with "ILoveAcid," though. With a vocodored voice that spits out silly lines (like the title one), the whole thing again swirls in a haze of serious 303 love and building beats. Oddly enough, the album drops off into near-haunting ambient wanderings on "Ambatek" before what is possibly the best track on the album in "Acidisco." With minor-key melodies and another slick beat, it's a little more serious than the rest of the disc (kicking out the jams like a funkier younger cousin to Plastikman), but works quite well as a diversion from the humanoid samples and countdowns in German scattering the release. Oddly enough, this is the first release for Vibert on the Warp Records label, one that he was seemingly meant to be with all along. If you're looking for a little retro-revival in the electronic department, Yoseph may be the prescription to cure your ills.