Reviewed by Gavin Lees (flesh made word)
It has been something of a prolific year for Aaron Funk (aka Venetian Snares, or seemingly just VSnares now) this being his eighth release in just over 12 months. Thankfully, his work has been consistently fresh and exciting as he develops his own idiosyncratic brand of cut-up, glitchy drum ‘n’ bass. This is something of a stopgap release (in case you couldn’t wait another couple of months for yet another new album) lasting a relatively sparse 46 minutes and containing a few outtakes, experimentations and one taster for the next album.
By rights, this should be garbage, but personally I find it hard to discredit anything this insane. While never quite matching “Making Orange Things” for sheer volume and speed, the range of sounds and syncopation on “2370894” is far beyond any of his previous work. Like a spastic, epileptic jazz drummer let loose in a toyshop, Funk creates a lethal concoction of disparate and seemingly unconnected sounds and beats to test the limits of the listener’s sensibilities. From the laid-back, processed lounge jazz of “We Are Cesspools” to the full on drill-step rawk guitar of “Sybian Rock”, he never fails to surprise, shock or just plain amuse.
Highlights of this particular outing from the mental home have to be “Nobody Really Understands Anybody” featuring samples from, among other things, The Smiths and “The 7th Guest” computer game soundtrack; “Happy Morning Condom Factory” where Snares lets rip with a ton of DSP on cartoon-like melodies and thumping beats resulting in happy hardcore for people on the wrong pills; and “British IDM Preset Fanfare” (the title being a fuck-you to certain posters on the Planet Mu message board) which shows a more melodic, gentler side to this act, which was hinted at on “Songs About My Cats” but never actually reaching its full potential until now.
While I could debate about how much of this album is actually Funk’s work, being as it is constructed mainly from samples and heavily reliant on digital effects, I feel I should let it slide, as there are much worse offenders out there and anyone who is willing to push musical boundaries as far as VSnares has automatically commands my respect.
“2370894” is not an easy listen, nor is it the best starting place for anyone interested in discovering Venetian Snares, but it serves as a nice curio for fans and psychopaths alike.
- Various - The Cosmic Forces Of Mu
- Venetian Snares - Defluxion
- Venetian Snares & Speedranch - Making Orange Things
- Joseph Nothing - Dummy Variations
- Hrvatski - Swarm & Dither
- Mu Allstars - Criminal
- Hellfish & Producer - Constant Mutation (Mixed)
- Leafcutter John - Microcontact
- Nicole Elmer - Beef Bouilion
- Tim Tetlow - Beauty Walks A Razor's Edge
- Phthalocyanine - 25 Tracks Fer 1 Track
- Leafcutter John - Concourse E.E.P.
- Luke Vibert - '95-'99
- Jega - Geometry
- Capitol K - Roadeater E.P.
- Kid Spatula - Full Sunken Breaks
- Jega & Kid Spatula - Unity Gain / Hard Love
- Capitol K - Sounds Of The Empire
- Slag Boom Van Loon - So Soon
- Tusken Raiders - The Motorbike Track
- Slag Boom Van Loon - Slag Boom Van Loon
- Jega - Spectrum
- Horse Opera - 3 Cornered Room
- Capitol K - Island Row