Halfway through 'Bizarster', Luke Vibert reveals himself to be the man in the Cadbury's gorilla suit by looping up Phil Collins' 'In the Air Tonight'. A lolloping funk frisk garnished with recognisable hip-hop samples, 'I Can Phil It' is the kind of calculated bolt from the blue that dominates the perpetual motion machine's seventh solo album.
As with 'We Hear You' and bits of 'Toomorrow' as Wagon Christ and this year's '4' as Kerrier District, ballsy juxtaposing gambles would fall flat on their face were it not for the skill, subtexts and feats in engineering delivered by a UK fortress of production pranks and practicality. A determiner that all music genres are involved in their own game of six degrees of separation, cutting and pasting a swag bag of sound effects isn't enough.
And so what if some of the samples are deadstock: Kool & The Gang standard 'Jungle Jazz' becomes 'Power Press' with some sort of kazoo-like device, and Vibert's Plug junglism comes to the fore on snare pressuriser 'Don't Fuck Around'. There are basslines that shatter the melting pots of dub western 'Doozit' and dubstep-not-dubstep 'Knockout', and hardcore flip-flop 'Ghetto Blast Ya' is a hip-rave anthem that could be the new sound for 2019 cooked up between '89 and '92.
Part of the spectacle when Vibert pits fun-loving opportunism with genre-crossing IQ, is how to react when he plays the game straighter. This time round, 'Bizarster' has these in the minority; whereas 'Hey Go' claws at cabaret crushed velvet, and 'Officers Club' funks Scruffily, 'Manalog' is the sole, slightly noodly odd one out on an album of big punchlines, defrosted drum breaks snapping necks like breadsticks, and foibles for the eagle-eared to pick out listen after listen.
Words: Matt Oliver