A few slow news days have become a slow news week. Aside from a few bursts of convention related news, things have slowed to an August like torpor. Is it just the summer buzz of activities? Is everyone too busy working on their graphic novel? Or too busy working on their blogs, message boards and MySpace profiles? Whatever it is, not much comics news out there. That is good, maybe, because we have two big bags of MoCCA loot, and the Charles Schulz and Milton Caniff biographies to read.
I did notice that a new album by our beloved Luke Vibert is coming out in the UK anyway in a few weeks: Chicago,Detroit,Redruth. This album is notable in that it’s by Luke Vibert and not one of his countless alter egos like Wagon Christ, Plug, Kerrier District, Amen Andrews, etc etc.
As prolific as he is, Vibert is usually pegged as acid, or drum ‘n’ bass, which is accurate to a point. I’d call him electro stock music. Stock or catalog music is that stuff written by various talented composers that goes into the catalogs of various stock music houses to be licensed out for industrial films, or cartoons or whatever. The soundtrack of REN & STIMPY was mostly stock music. To show we’re not just making this up, Vibert himself assembled two compilations of stock music, Nuggets and Further Nuggets by people like Johnny Hawksworth and Roger Roger, who wrote background music for thigns like the original Spider-man cartoon and THE PRISONER. Beloved of obscure music collectors, this stuff is the salon music of its day, well crafted, and somehow blandly evocative but just pleasant to listen to with some kind of ironic commercial detachment. It’s not bad like muzack, but rather a pleasant diversion.
That’s what most of Vibert’s music is — a few ideas mixed up for a few moments, a catchy drumline, a few chords slashed out on an organ, in the foreground some kind of theme. None of it is very complex (although in fairness some of the Wagon Christ stuff digs a little deeper.) Unlike his fellow Cornish tweaker Richard James (aka Aphex Twin) Vibert stays away from the true dark side. Maybe that’s why he’s such a cult figure — he’s hardly a household name even in Dj circles. He’s a modern day Raymond Scott.
But so what. I like him.