Reviewed by Rizz (circus of fools)
Although I wish I was, I'm not an expert on classical music. I know it's out there waiting for me and once I get in I probably won't be back for a very, very long time. But there's so much good music already out there. I can't afford to drown in the classical swamps just yet. I'll regret it but whatever, first things first. What I do appreciate is that some musicians pick out the very best parts that make classical music so appealing to me and involve them in their own music. Godspeed etc. does that in creating enormous layers of orchestral sounds that wash down on the people that long for sounds to wash down (like me). Rachel's subtlety comes close to the most achingly beautiful and minimal Satie pieces (yes, I do know some folks y'know). Max Richter's Blue Notebooks, no explanation needed here.
Add to that list the most unexpected of artists to be involved in classical serenity: Aaron Funk aka Venetian Snares. No need to rub your eyes, it is indeed that insane fucker of a breakbeatguy. Who would've thought he had a masterpiece up his sleeve so strangely beautiful it hurts your ears as much as it caresses them. Funk mixes a huge amount of samples of classical pieces, which I don't recognize indeed, with his typical sped up breakbeat style. It's fascinating how well the two styles as similar as a prada dress and a garbage bag actually blend together in a somewhat disrupted but majestic suite.
'SczerencsÃ©tlen' (damn his obsession with Hungary), starts things off exciting with a the kind of music Woody Woodpecker gets chased by. When the breakbeat kicks in it's hardly confronting as earlier Venetian Snares work often was and is. It's well balanced, almost easy and compromising. The real challenge lays in the balancing of the beats with the doom impending classical sounds. Funk not only uses your typical Mozart-esque classical but also went through those old and rusty recordcollections at fleamarkets. For 'Ã–ngyilkos VasÃ¡rnap' he dives into ghostly territory. The lovely Billie Holliday sings:
"Little white flowers
Will never awaken you
Not where the black coach
Of sorrow has taken you
Angels have no thoughts
Of ever returning you
Would they be angry
If I thought of joining you?"
These are the lyrics for the infamous 'Gloomy Sunday'. A track composed by RezsÃ´ Seress, an Hungarian musician who, in 1968, committed suicide by jumping off a flat. It's said that the lyrics and the haunting melody caused a sudden increase in suicides after people heard the song. Creepy but it doesn't do the trick with me though, still alive and kicking here. Radiostations all over the world banned the song eventually.
Rossz.. is extremely haunting but in a good, hide behind your pillow kind of way. The threatening violin that introduces 'Fellbomlasztott MentÃ¶kosci' with it's droning atmosphere slowly unfolds it's tentacles and suffocates it's own self. The violin is a common theme that fits perfectly well alongside the rather fluent and jazzy hi-hat breakbeats of 'Hajnal'. Somewhat more confronting but never too much is the chaotic 'MÃ¡sodik Galamb', the most typical Snares track present on this album. As picked up by that track the theme gets darker and more tangled up in spacious breakbeats. It gets even more impressive when an opera voice gets sampled by da Funk on 'SzamÃ¡r MadÃ¡r'. And even more impressive when it sounds like it does, perfectly in place and at ease with it's cathartic, breakbeat surroundings.
Funk's a warrior, he chooses the challenge, he picks fights and rarely backs down. This time though, he chooses a charming approach in letting two styles come together and melt into eachother with succes. It'll take a lot for people to come up with something as impressive as this this year. Really, snatch your mom's purse and go buy this now.
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