The Ace of Clubs – Benefist

5 out of 5

Label: Firstcask

Produced by: Luke Vibert

Crap, I can’t stand it when an artist I generally ignore drops a record I can’t ignore. Look: I have a collector’s mentality, so when I like something, I tend to want to buy everything relating to that something. In the world of electronic music, where prolific artists like Ed DMX capture my attention, this can be expensive, so I have to make some hard decisions and draw lines, and long ago, I’d decided that though I appreciate Luke Vibert, he maybe errs toward a clubbier breed of electro that I don’t “need” to own.

And then The Ace of Clubs’ Benefist is 70+ minutes of the most unbelievably pleasant, ear-wiggling acid I’ve listened to in quite some time, and it turns out to be another AKA for Vibert. And now I’m on bandcamp and bobbing my head to other tracks. Do I need to make space on my shelf for more?

…If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to continue to ignore Vibert, and limit my buyings to Ace of Clubs – only three releases to worry about!

Benefist’s charm is a bit indirect: it’s honestly not a very showy record, and, to my ear, doesn’t prompt any special nods for incorporating particularly unique equipment to achieve its sounds. It’s more bouncy than not, but there’s still quite a bit of range here, and it sneaks up on you, getting deeper into some more IDM twists and turns and heavier beats as it goes along, though Vibert makes sure to kick things off with energy as well, opener Cordial delivering a BPM rush. I’d say you can spot notes of grime and ambience and futurism in here, but quirky, 90s-style electro is the mainstay, and it’s a very strong throughline in all of the disc’s tracks, easily keeping one’s ears engaged (and toe likely tapping) throughout.