Wagon Christ

Tally Ho!

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Luke Vibert, one of Europe's more prolific electronic masterminds, slips into his Wagon Christ alter ego once again and comes through with one of his more accessible efforts. Tally Ho! doesn't have the personality-driven energy of Prodigy or the Chemical Brothers' slam-bang theatrics, but that doesn't mean it's short on character by any means. Vibert paints himself as a sly mixmaster with music that contains a smokiness quite different from the dark, misty shadows associated with the most familiar electronic noir. Instead, bursts of color appear in these dense, loungy compositions. The songs here branch out in various directions, whether it's R&B beats giving way to classical piano flourishes or swelling basslines embracing gurgling samples, robotic blips, and kabuki drums. Anyone lost in the thick, endless vines of drum'n'bass will be surprised by these crisp, controlled soundscapes (its hour-long running time is modest by today's DJ standards). It's Vibert's emphasis on the R&B vibe that gives Tally Ho! its definitive edge. Cool jazz piano and ricocheting drum tracks surface, which would sound ideal nestled below sultry hip-hop rhymes. If anything, Vibert, a confessed hip-hop fan, could really break barriers by bringing some of these otherworldly sounds to rap's universe. Sly grooves on "Fly Swat" and "Memory Towel" are ripe for swiping by sample-happy DJs.

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