Audio Remasterer: Luke Vibert.
Kerrier District, released by the suddenly disco-happy Rephlex, is to Metro Area what Ivana Humpalot is to Plenty O'Toole: a parody of something that already has its own fun to it, with more-obvious humor thrown in. It's quite possible that Luke Vibert holed himself up with nothing but releases from Metro Area's Environ label -- along with some from the like-minded Balihu -- before surfacing with ten jubilant tracks that, like Metro Area, bleed with every single signifier of late-'70s/early-'80s electro-disco. Around the same time this was released, Rephlex reissued a record by a one-off duo called Black Devil, which actually seems to have had more of an effect on the sound of this triple-vinyl set than Metro Area. (Not by mere coincidence, Environ had an interest in reissuing that record before Rephlex swooped in and did the deed.) Still, Vibert's obviously inviting the Metro Area comparisons, so he might as well get them. His predecessors' take on pre-house post-disco is more organic, more carefully crafted, and much more original -- Vibert's is more sample-based and less reliant on open spaces, not at all dissimilar from Daniel Wang's mid-'90s Balihu releases. Though distant voices, plucked from other rare platters -- usually in the form of stunted, wordless exultations -- are sprinkled here and there, Vibert leaves the impression that the foundation of each track was pulled off by a small cast of keyboardists, drum programmers, hand-percussionists, and horn players. Sometimes he plays a great role in making it all happen. Other times, he just lifts a few ideas/elements from someone else -- the clicking finger cymbals and clapping drums in "Disclix," for instance, could've been swiped from Dinosaur's "Kiss Me Again." Regardless of the motives and the lack of time it might've taken to put all of these tracks together, the results are really all that matter. And the results are mostly slamming. ~ Andy Kellman