Plug - Back On Time

Back On Time
Ninja Tune (UK)
In early 2011 Luke Vibert  found some, long-lost never heard before DATs dated '1995-1998' and entitled 'Plug'.

In 1996 Blue Angel Recordings (later Blue Planet) an imprint of the legendary Rising High label released the 'Drum 'N' Bass for Papa' album by Plug AKA West Country king of kitschtronica Luke Vibert, whom at that time had only released under his Wagon Christ moniker. The album cover was an old picture of his professional magician grandfather Frank which only added to the oddness in the best of ways. The album was largely ignored by the D'n'B purists at the time, however it was hailed by many beyond, and remains to this day one of the acclaimed records to emerge from the buoyant and hugely influential electronic scene of the south-west in the 90's. Alongside people like Aphex Twin, Tom Middleton, Grant Wilson-Claridge and Jeremy Simmonds and away from the lights and police of the big cities they put on club nights, filled cassettes with new tunes, hijacked the pirates and revelled in all that was original, twisted and like nothing else before. And whilst there is no doubting the talent of all these individuals, it has always been Vibert's keen sense of humour and also funk that enabled him to evolve to a stage to make a landmark release such as 'Drum 'N' Bass for Papa'.

So a few years later and somewhat ahead of the curve, Vibert shook up D'n'B - at that point no album had been released in the genre that departed from the formulaic template. Avant-jungle that wasn't made for the "club", the album was an eccentric bolt from the blue, it shocked many of Vibert's contemporaries but went on to influence many, most notably Squarepusher. At the same time Luke's Wagon Christ project was being snapped up by Chemical Brothers A+R man at Virgin Records for his 3rd album, so a new name was needed for his eccentric d'n'b output, and Plug was born. Until now Plug has yielded just one album - possibly only a humble man like Luke Vibert would have a whole album of top-quality electronic tracks just sat around for over 15 years and not release them. The 10 tracks on offer here include the proto-garage vocal stylings of 'Feeling So Special', the demented circus-organs of 'No Reality' , the hilariously titled 'Come On My Skeleton', the old-skool rinse out of  'Mind Bending', Globetronica favourite the skewed bollywoodisms of 'A Quick Plug for A New Shot' and all with impeccably produced jungle credentials as the bed.

Sounding brand new as well as being a lost classic from a electronic icon, 'Back On Time' is a release that anybody interested in the progression of dance music should be very curious to hear and enjoy.

Published Monday Feb 13 '12