Reviewed by Jeff Echert (Stypod)
It’s that time of year once more, a time when the music critics gather around and dance in glee. That’s right, it’s year-end list time. I love this season because it combines two of my favorite things, lists and snow. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I am not ruined to snow like I might be if I lived elsewhere, and it’s a rare enough occurrence that it still shuts my city down like a frightened child under a bed, worried about cars slipping down hills. I can nestle snugly in my house, with the heat on and the stereo blaring, assembling my lists of top ten, twenty, fifty records of the year, separated and catalogued by genre, artist, release date, et al.
I’m sure you’re wondering if I have a point. Probably not, in the larger scheme of things. Really, I just like cocooning myself against the biting cold, and that feeling is probably my main theme. But there’s one song that makes me feel as if winter is perfect, as if all the snow is in fact a divine clearing of the slate rather than just really cold and wet. It is a succinct summing-up of what exactly snow feels like; the experience of gazing upon vast untouched fields of purest white. That song, “Hiszékeny,” is off of my favorite electronic release of the year, Venetian Snares’ Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett. Besides being a drill and bass masterwork, Aaron Funk’s command of subtle orchestration is the real reason to check this record out. While the Canadian producer is more than a little prolific, his entire catalogue pales in comparison to the icy beauty that Rossz Csillag conveys. The beats are kept in check, with the haunting strings in the background supporting the loops and electronic manipulation rather than fighting them in some sort of cheeky, ironic counterpoint.
Now, I’m not usually one to listen to this kind of electronic music, I’ll be the first to admit. My tastes run more towards the lighter side, the more melodic glitchiness of lap-pop like the Notwist and Lali Puna. But for some reason, this album grabbed me by the throat, topping even the majesty of 13 + god’s debut. This song in particular, with the spastic orgy of beats being notoriously absent, is a bit of a respite, a rest in the middle of an otherwise taxing album. It’s a short song, not even two minutes, but it’s necessary to give the listener a well-needed breather in between some of the most confusing sonic assaults I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. The chimes and synthesizers in the background evoke a feeling of pleasant chilliness, with a harp plucked as lightly as soft as snow falls to the ground. I can’t help but feel a little shiver (perhaps not just out of the intangible feeling of enjoyment, but also maybe because this song makes me honestly cold) and think about putting on mittens whenever I hear it. Simply put, it’s gorgeous.
- Last Step - You're A Nice Girl
- Dolphin & The Teknoist - Soul Cannibal / Closing Down
- Bizzy B - Science EP Vol V
- Kyler - Pur Cosy Tales
- Hellfish - One Man Sonic Attack Force
- Virus Syndicate - The Work-Related Illness
- Virus Syndicate - Slow Down
- Shitmat - The Lesser Spotted Burberry EP
- Bizzy B - Science EP Volumes III + IV
- Bizzy B - Science EP Vol IV
- Exile - Pro Agonist
- Vex'd - Degenerate
- Vex'd - Gunman
- John B & Exile - Broken Language
- Mark One - One Way
- Venetian Snares & Bong-Ra - 4 Adaptations Of Rossz Csillag Alatt Született
- Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Alatt Született
- Ed Lawes - 14 Tracks/Pieces
- Eight Frozen Modules - DJ, Riddim & Source E.P.
- dDamage - Pressure
- Bizzy B - Science EP Vol III
- Hawerchuk - Camel Toe
- Shitmat - Full English Breakfest