VENETIAN SNARES: Detrimentalist (Planet Mu)


Posted on Jun 30th 2008 08:59 pm

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Venetian Snares: Detrimentalist

Planet Mu 2008
10 Tracks. 51mins27secs

One thing that Aaron Funk, the prolific Canadian musician behind Venetian Snares, cannot be accused of is boring the listener. Since first taking on the sometimes staid world of electronica in the late nineties with a battering ram, he has gleefully been launching assault after assault with his reconstructed drum ‘n’ bass sounds. Detrimentalist, like the many albums to have come before it, barely takes time out to breathe, such is the manic wellspring of energy at the core of the record. And whilst the dizzying aural barrage will deter the tender, there is a delightfully over the top vivacity at work in his music that at the very least ensures attention.

Planet Mu slyly refer to this as Funk’s 332nd official studio album – a wry jest at the sheer profusion of Snares material available. And many people probably could get through a novel in the time it takes to read his discography. But the fear with Venetian Snares is always whether the almost obscene prodigiousness of his output comes at the expense of the quality of the music. This is not an issue here, however, and if anything his prolific nature is a sign of how much good material he still has on offer.

The sound of Detrimentalist follows the familiar template of hell-for-leather drum rolls and tongue-in-cheek rave revivalism. It’s a sort of musical compendium, in under an hour, of the rarer end of the electronic music spectrum. And, frankly, the music does much to remind us of what is missing from so much electronica today. Like Squarepusher, Funk picks up on the sheer, relentless energy of early rave music and smashes it up into something else. Tracks like the mind-bending Circle Pit might not win many prizes for subtlety, but they manage to capture the dimly remembered potency of nights spent circling the M25 in pursuit of a warehouse. Flash Forward and Bebikukorica Nigiri have a similar bravura, but weave in Drukqs-esque fragments of dazzling melody. And like Aphex, Funk is not above having a laugh, as track titles like Poo Yourself Jason indicate.

It’s hard not to wonder at times whether Funk ever feels like taking a rest from the insane intensity of high BPM counts and retro rave tunes. And a day will surely come when the niche he has carved for himself becomes unsustainable. But if he can still produce records of such breathless dynamism after a decade in the business, he must be doing something right, so good luck to the man.


Planet Mu
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