Ninja Tune, 2001
Well Luke Vibert’s done it again, and this time he’s returned to the darker Big Soup–style jams we know and love. While Vibert’s last two efforts, Tally Ho! and Stop the Panic are a bit silly and saccharine, Musipal has some nice late-night chill-out grooves and even a few melancholy sample-filled masterpieces. Vibert has a way of taking the most over-used samples and breaks and making them sound fresh. His best work is laid-back and mysterious, like “Bend Over,” with its barely intelligible samples of a juvenile delinquent and a child-like melody. Then there’s the instrumental “Tomach” which glides through a gorgeous progression of breakdowns. The middle of this release is a bit too cheesy for me, but things pick up with the poppy “It Is Always Now, All of It Is Now,” which features vocals by Vibert himself. The album’s highpoint is definitely the embarrassingly funky “Cris Chana.” Musipal is a bit uneven due to its so-so middle section, but at least it’s solid evidence that Vibert can still do dark and funky tracks.