Ultraviolent Jungle

Things I learned this week:

The numerous objects/actions Aaron Funk would like put/perform  ‘in your punani’

  • Make a lasagna
  • Impressive mustaches
  • Mike Parindas
  • Intellivision Basketball
  • He-Man
  • Skeletor
  • Produce lots of records
  • Undergo plastic surgery
  • Pretend he’s from London
  • Helen Grocery
  • Grill a Panini
  • Lucky Co. Express
  • Langside and Furby
  • Welfare Wednesday
  • Sell crystal meth
  • Cash his check
  • Wear leather jackets
  • Drive his car
  • orange juice
  • Egg salad sandwiches
  • Hot dogs and french fries
  • Chef Boyardee

All of this nonsense can only mean one thing – Venetian Snares has a new album out which in turn pleases me very much.

As per usual the album is wildly varied in terms of material, but can be broadly categorised into three groups:

  1. Madcap rave tracks with ridiculous sampling
  2. Full on abrasive breakcore
  3. Orchestral epics

As part of my research for this post I have read lots of reviewers whose intellect seemed unable to penetrate the several layers of irony that cocoon the music of Venetian Snares, either that or they are just humourless bores.

There's nothing like a gratuitous diagram to spice up a blog post..

‘Who Wants Cake?’ is one such track that eludes these poor creatures,out of their sitcom context the vocal samples sound almost deadpan and when juxtaposed with verging on parodical ravey synth stabs and drill n’ bass percussion the result the extremely dark humour (think a few shades darker than Monkey Dust/Chris Morris’ ‘Jam’) that we have come to expect from Mr. Snares.

Though I do enjoy the infantile wind up merchantry of these tracks it is the relentless breakcore of ‘Ultraviolent Junglist’ that really gets my heart racing- like Ronseal this track does exactly what it says on the tin.

My one issue with such tracks is that by comparison almost everything else sounds weak and simplistic, even my beloved Squarepusher (who incidentally has a new album out soon, watch this space!). There is something satisfying in the precision of each individual percussive hit, arranged with just enough structure to keep some form of rhythmic stability, but without a doubt verging on the brink of anarchy and total insanity. This might not be for ‘everyone’, but it is most definitely for me and I find it hard to comprehend why this is not acceptable material for the dancefloor…

As I’ve mentioned before Venetian Snares’ orchestral work is an easy starting point for most and there is no doubt that it is these tracks that are the most accessible of this album.  The title track, a six-minute epic (epic by snares standards anyway..) features a lush string section punctuated by staccato harp plucks that stylistically recall the way in which Funk mashes and re-arranges the amen break so successfully.  This then descends into more familiar territory – breakbeats and arpeggiators. Unfortunately this track fails to excite me, though this may be because it pales in comparison to ‘Hajnal2′ Snares’ more literal revisit to ‘Rossz..’

The reworking adds subtle acid-y synths making the overall sound much fatter, this version also feels a lot more glitchy and disjointed than the original which of course is no bad thing.  The most interesting addition to this track is a single spoken line

‘do only pigeons reflect your love?’

Overtly alluding to its predecessors  largely unknown concept (ta Pitchfork).

All in all, another good outing for Mr. Snares.

Anyway, I think I’ll leave you with what is perhaps the most badass thing I’ve seen all week/month/year..



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