Vibe Tribe – Wise Cracks (Utopia)

Posted in Reviews 2006 by - August 02, 2006


Chupa Chups at the ready, kids? Opening track Wise Cracks takes all of one minute and fifty seconds before we are subjected to a nasty chord change. We then get dodgy midrange NU-NRG that has you in mind of three-men-to-a-cubicle amyl nitrate clubbing. Break, build, peak and then it’s over, just like crushing up a pill and ramming it up your nose.

Dream Catcher has a high-end piano and a chord-changing bassline underneath it that puts me in mind of Robert Miles. If you have no idea who Robert Miles is, then you will love this. Anyone over 25 will probably find the sub-Balearic, sub-Infected, sub-Misted-Muppet catwalk fashion show breakdown a little too saccharine to stomach.

Carousel picks up messy acid, has a neat little slowdown, and goes nicely up until the end when a frankly unnecessary break-build-peak sends things going the way of the sweetshop once again. Three Quarters is stuttered and messy, with that quantized/shuffle feel that seems to be essential for at least one track on every artist album coming out of Israel at the moment. It’s not bad, by which I mean it could be worse. LFObia is  worse, and worse by a long stretch. Defiantly predictable and overwhelmingly unimaginative, it’s the latest MTV-friendly bit of rave that uses an LFO to splatter the topend noises around the place. Without the LFO, however, it’s jaw-smashingly simplistic stuff.

The Brain.B.Q. is Vibe Tribe’s stab at something messier, more hectic, and almost psychedelic. All goes well up till the midsection, where that ravey beast once again rears its head: big chords, highend leads, a daft melody in the break, and then all semblance of trippiness fades into kindergarten-core trance for sesame street characters. Bad Habits does exactly the same as everything else here, just with a bit of pitch bend.

The best track here comes in the shape of Pulse. It’s still got those high-ends and still got those chord changes, but it’s the most developed and confident tune of the lot here, and at 140bpm it’s the slowest. It works for me, as the sounds have more room to move and there’s less of the pedal-to-the-metal approach that seems to plague the other tracks; such as Memories, which I would sooner forget, and quickly.

With a rushed-sounding remix of X-Noize’s The Sperminator tacked on at the end, we have to be fair and say that this isn’t a classic album, nor do I think it’s pretending to be. Vibe Tribe are one act who you can guarantee will do well from this album, and their live appearances at this summer’s festivals will be well-received. It’s not intelligent, it’s not psychedelic, and it’s not really very trancey. Quietly the Israeli trance boys have been creating something different, and while it’s not for everyone you can’t deny that the kids will love it.


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