| Chicago Reader

Dance alchemist Luke Vibert makes magic with the same tricks he’s used for decades 

click to enlarge Luke Vibert

Luke Vibert

Stuart Holt

If you’re looking for a musical figure to represent the vast and boundless aesthetics of electronic music, you can’t go wrong with Luke Vibert, a producer who’s released music under more stage names than some midcareer musicians have albums (he’s got ten, including his given name, Wagon Christ, and Plug). A native of Cornwall, UK, Vibert imbibed electronic music, hip-hop, and patches of underground rock and pop music while growing up in the 80s. Since he started producing dance music of his own in the 90s, he’s borrowed elements from whatever has sounded right to him, pouring samples atop melodies that form the foundation of techno, drum ’n’ bass, trip-hop, disco, acid house, or any other interlinked electronic subgenre he feels like toying with at any particular moment. The results sound as if Vibert’s taken slabs and unwieldy chunks of pop music history, thrown them into a rock tumbler, and polished them until he creates harmony without disrupting the distinctive bump of what makes each bit of his source material unique. “I’ve just got the same old shit I’ve had for years, plodding away at sequencing samples, not really knowing how the fuck else you can do it,” he told Fact in 2015. These days, his process remains the same, but his new music sparkles as brightly as it did when he first emerged. “JJP,” off May’s Turn EP (People of Rhythm), clips, honks, squeaks, and squawks like the best mutant dance music that can be credited to Vibert—or any of his other names.   v

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 10
Performing Arts
May 29

Popular Stories