IDM (Intelligent Dance Music to the uninitiated) is a funny old genre, with even much debate over its validity as a genre at all. Regardless of the arguments over its existence, the term is widely recognised and is useful in categorising the more experimental end of electronica.
There is however a problem with IDM- the inherent complexity often induces more beard stroking than fancy footwork, neglecting the dance component of the genres name.
If Aphex Twin represents the (comparatively) mild mannered savant of IDM then surely Venetian Snares is the criminally insane mastermind, hell-bent on psychopathic destruction of any drum sample that happens to cross his path.
Describing the music of Venetian Snares is no easy task,partly because there is so much of it (50 releases since ’97) and partly because each release wildly different from the last. However there are some elements which seem to run throughout; a fetish for odd time signatures (particularly 7/4), 200+ BPM tempos and a dark, disturbing sense of humour.
I know that fellow poster Ryan is a big fan of Snare’s two orchestral albums (My Downfall and Rossz csillag alatt született) and whilst these albums are (at least in my books) must haves, they are but the tip of the iceberg- one which will hopefully sink you into the dark, murky waters of Venetian Snares discography. I realise this is a fairly bizarre analogy so heres an illustration to help you on your way…
Anyhow, enough waffle-Ill begin with some of the more accessible stuff, and wean you onto some of the more obscure stuff later..
‘Abomination Street’ is the opening track of ‘The Chocolate Wheelchair Album’ and manages to sample both the ‘Coronation Street’ themetune and 70s punk classic ‘Oh Bondage! Up Yours!‘ by X-Ray Spex. If this isn’t a marriage made in heaven I don’t know what is. It has all the ingredients of a classic Snares track – ridiculous sampling, stuttering chopped-up amen breakbeats, deep bass and staccato synth leads. It is particularly typical of the album so if you liked this its well worth listening to the rest of the album.
Chlorophyll is a highlight from ‘Huge Chrome Cylinder Box Unfolding’. Rather than the out-and-out wacky insanity of ‘Abomination Street’, ‘Chlorophyll’ seems to be suffering from a personality crisis; on one hand it is much more relaxed with lush synths and reversed sounds are easy on the ears, though as expected these are punctuated by manic and ridiculously intricate, complex (17/4 apparently, but its pretty hard to count so get your calculators out! ) glitchy drum beats. Order in chaos, and absolute bliss. This is for those more into Aphex Twin rather than the aural masochism of having their ears pounded by pneumatic drill inspired drumbeats.
Which brings me nicely onto…
‘Good Jungle’ is a track from the charmingly named ‘Shitfuckers’ the track (and much of the release) combines Aaron Funk’s penchant for extreme metal and jungle/D&B, something which is apparent in his appearance
Honorable mentions from the Venetian Snares discography go to:
The Sabbath Dubs -dubstep created solely from Black Sabbath samples.
Dance Like You’re Selling Nails -Cartoon meets Opera meets death by breakbeats.
P.S. In the coming weeks we hope to be working on a weekly playlist of what we have been listening to so keep your eyes peeled! In the meantime heres a test mix I concocted of things I’ve been listening to this week, expect wierd japanese shoutyness, jazzy electronica and an acoustic Aphex Twin cover