Completing his third instalement for Planet Mu in a year, Aaron Funk unleashes yet another dimension to his eccentric musical persona with Winter In The Belly Of A Snake. Not that his devoted fan based will complain to be showered with new music so often, as the interest progressively shifts from a slow-moving and not-so-pioneering Aphex Twin to his bastard son Venetian Snare. With a series of albums denoting good sense of humour and complete commercial insanity, Funk seems determined to take over the electronic scene. One can only wonder how long the man can maintain the momentum before diluting his inspiration into some totally nonsensical record.
Fear not for now as Winter In The Belly Of A Snake is yet another mind-blowing record. If the cataclysmic drum constructions are still very much de rigueur, this album is darker and, surprisingly, more melodic and accessible than its predecessors. To illustrate this, the album kicks off with Dad, a song – yes, a song! – dedicated to Funk’s late father. Dealing with the notion of death and the unavoidable flow of memories and regrets accompanying someone passing away, this song shows Funk at his most vulnerable, condensing a whole range of emotions into a few sentences floating over a sonic structure reminiscent of Autechre’s Acroyear 2 on acid. Adopting a similar tactic to Tom Jenkinson’s recent Do You Know Squarepusher, Funk inflicts numerous effects on his voice, treating it in the same way as he does with his sounds. Here though, the result is much more comprehensible, leaving the man’s feeling more exposed than you would expect to hear on such a record. Most definitely key to why Venetian Snares has become such an enduring name on the electronic scene in such a short time, Funk’s incredibly human touches are emblematic of his work, giving a very personal twist to a genre that sometimes suffers from over-complacency. With his rendition of The Misfits’ She, he reaches even darker grounds, adopting Glenn Danzig’s guttural tone while he uses strings to further reinforce the perversity of the lyrics. The rest of the album is more familiar territory for Funk. With playful sonic constructions remaining at the heart of his work, he juggles between totally innocent structures (Stairs Song, In Quod, Cashew, Fraujäger) and more introvert moments (Gottrahmen, Suffocate, January), sometimes revealing some pretty fascinating emotional tones, as on the stripped down Warm Body.
Despite releasing albums faster than it takes for a manufactured pop band to achieve world domination and disappear, Aaron Funk remains firmly focused on his music, giving each of his record a different tonality and atmosphere to the one before. With Winter In The Belly Of The Snake, he presents his most complex and best work to date. Yet, this album is more accessible than its predecessor because of the less abrasive sounds and beats used. Far from having reached his full potential yet, Funk unveils little by little different sides of his musical talent, making him one of the most exiting musicians to have emerged in the last ten years.
- 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