It’s been a surprisingly quiet year for Venetian Snares’s Aaron Funk, with just one album released on Hymen earlier this year, and this one, pencilled for release for some time and finally made available. If the last in last year’s trilogy of albums published on Planet Mu, Winter In The Belly Of A Snake, showed Mr. Snare at his more accessible, The Chocolate Wheelchair Album returns to the more upfront and arrogant smashed-up drill of Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits. But nothing is ever straightforward with Venetian Snares, and this new album takes once again some liberties with the genre.
It seems almost incredible that Canadian-born Aaron Funk only shot to fame a couple of years ago with his collaboration with Speedbranch. Yet, in this short time, he has become somewhat of a figure on the electronic scene, alongside the likes of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. His tortured beats, cartoonesque melodies and heavy use of samples have attracted as many detractors as fans, and this new album will do nothing to change people’s mind. Kicking off this album is Aaron’s trashed version of the long-running British soap Coronation Street theme tuned, so mashed-up and lacerated that it is barely recognisable, Abomination Street (does Aaron Funk really watch Corry?) is fuelled with jazz, hip-hop and dub references, instantly setting the tone for what’s to come. The Chocolate Wheelchair is Venetian Snares reclaiming ownership of the dance floor. Landslide, Epidermis or Herbie Goes Ballistic are as many tribute to the head banging community, with Hand Throw adding raga influences courtesy of a Belgian MC. With these tracks, Funk goes into overdrive, surfing his way through more hyperactive beats than ever. Yet, as he proved with Winter In The Belly Of A Snake, he can also produce more mature and structured music. Too Young, Funk’s reworking of the Mötley Crüe song Too Young To Fall In Love is hip-hop on acids, while he toys with dancehall, be it perverted, on the recent Einstein-Rosen Bridge single. Sky Painted On Car is suspiciously reminiscent of µ-ziq’s sonic realm circa Tango’n’Vectif, although the infectious underlying dub groove would point toward Mike Paradinas’s more recent musical excursions.
Once again, Aaron Funk is determined not to follow any other rules than his own. He might not be responsible for inventing drill’n’bass, but he can certainly be credited for blowing the fun element out of proportion. The Chocolate Wheelchair album is a clever record on which Funk juggles with genres and moods with as much conviction and determination as on his previous releases.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay