Reviewed by Matthew Landry (earlash.ccom)
I, once at the age of 16, decided to try my hand in making electronic music. Equipped with such landmark albums as Autechre's Tri Repetae and Aphex Twin's Richard D. James Album, I felt that I could synthesize all of these distinct sounds and create the greatest IDM album ever using the God-given genius I hoped was hiding in me somewhere. So I proceeded, fumbling around with my copy of Fruity Loops 3.4, making various blips and bleeps that eventually added up to a big load of nothing, thus forever squashing my dreams of being a mad electronic luminary. Perhaps this is why I have so much respect for those artists, as well as Venetian Snares, a.k.a. Aaron Funk. It takes a lot of skill to make unlistenable noise listenable.
For those of you not familiar with Funk's work, he's a Manitoba-based producer who's been on the very respectable Planet µ roster since 2001's Making Orange Things. (Another electronic pioneer, µ-Ziq's Mike Paradinas, founded Planet µ). Huge Chrome tows the IDM line perfectly, adopting Autechre's mathematical precision and cold, chiming synths while also retaining some of the faster paced drum-n-bass sounds of chaotic acts like Squarepusher. Minimal melodies are par for the course, only peeking their head out on tracks such as the standout "Vida" and always taking a backseat to the cut-and-paste electronic percussion flying from speaker to speaker at top speeds. Distant vocal samples can be heard occasionally on tracks such as "Keek," adding only briefly a human element to the mix.
The album's only fault is perhaps its unwillingness to deviate from its rapid cut-and-paste glory. When it does manage to branch out, on tracks like "Li2CO3," with its sparse synth tones fading in and out supporting a more gentle Snares percussion job, the effect is incredible. The track's ambient brakes even allow for a very noticeable, and welcome, song progression. "Ion Divvy" follows and quickly kicks up the pace, as an electronic call and response kicks in, squelching from speaker to speaker and sounding absolutely amazing on headphones.
Funk, on this his ninth album in a matter of four years, has begun to even transcend his musical forefathers. Aphex Twin hasn't followed up 2001's under-appreciated Drukqs, and Autechre's latest, Draft 7.30, was somewhat of a letdown. By keeping the pace up while maintaining some semblance of an underlying melody, Huge Chrome manages to breathe a little energy into the increasingly stale IDM genre and should attract anyone who enjoys ordered chaos.
- Shitmat - Shopliftin' Gabba
- Jansky Noise & Speedranch - Mi^grate
- µ-Ziq - Bilious Paths
- Lexaunculpt - The Blurring Of Trees
- Ambulance - The Curse Of Vale Do Lobo
- Venetian Snares - Winter In The Belly Of A Snake
- Electronic Music Composer - Suggested Surgery
- Local - They Are Local
- Leafcutter John - The Housebound Spirit
- Various - Children Of Mu
- Venetian Snares - Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits 1972-2006
- Joseph Nothing - Dreamland Idle Orchestra
- Nautilis - Are You An Axolotl
- DJ Hekla - Eruption 1970
- Nautilis - Sketches Vol.1
- Decal - 404 Not Found
- Luke Vibert - Homewerk
- Kettel - Tadley Management E.P.
- Hellfish - Meat Machine Broadcast System
- Dykehouse - Dynamic Obsolescence
- Tim Tetlow - Cyrenic
- Electric Company - Slow Food
- Venetian Snares - Songs About My Cats
- o9 - No Delay For Days