Luke Vibert – Machine Funk (De:tuned)


Machine Funk opens with a call of “future” and it’s clear the vision comes via the late 20th Century.

A Roland TR-303-style bass bubbles under bending synthesiser notes as a drum machine snare snaps.

It’s a familiar setting for the musician who has previously expressed his devotion for acid.

Luke Vibert is still an endlessly inventive producer and’ Stairs Wine’ throws a house beat behind a winding riff for a repetitive earworm effect.

There’s a sure-handedness in these songs and they know exactly the path they want to chart between a kinda disco vibe that adds extra cheese and a chill doof that doesn’t want to act too cool.

That’s one of best and worst aspects of these tracks, they don’t go too much further than one head-nodding melody and it forces itself on you with an insistence that you have to admire or move on.

When I have played tracks to people it’s kinda hard to read the response if they’re not shaking a limb until you overhear someone humming along because it’s got hooks.

And you’ve got to laugh at song titles like ‘Hitler Skelter’ although mentioning it on Facebook might get a warning.

As the vocal samples of ‘Moderneers Modernize’ call for the opening of ears, one can’t help but hear the loopy grooves of Wagon Christ or any other of Luke’s pseudonyms.

One of the cool things about this album is how it seems to blend a lot of those earlier personalities, rather than containing them to alter-egos.

Yes, while acid has brought them together, you can taste a little of Plug’s frenetic drum and bass-style tempo in ‘Taming Of The View’.

(This is one area where I would be very happy to go much deeper.)

As a longtime fan I find myself listening for those minor key jams that get a bit more introspective.

Usually Vibert has one on each album, like ‘Acidisco’ on “Yoseph” or ‘Cheng Phooey’ on “Stop The Panic”.

So the aptly-titled ‘Luconacid’ delivers with a wonderfully cruise-y dive in a 303 submarine into a shallow pool of dark reverb with trumpet-like flourishes that will put those flashback shivers on your spine.

Seriously wow, thanks Luke — that was lush.


About Author

Living in regional Australia led Jason Richardson to sample landscapes instead of records.