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Venetian Snares - Cavalcade of Glee and Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms

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Artist: Venetian Snares

Album: Cavalcade of Glee and Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms

Label: Planet Mu

Review date: Nov. 12, 2006

“For a period I would literally do crack all night and then after I came down I’d sleep a couple hours, get up and do music. I would twist the music until it gave me the same rush I got from the crack, that full euphoric adrenalin blast. Bit of a dangerous experiment but a couple of wicked 12”s came as a result. Those were strange days.”
- Aaron Funk in an interview in Wire, April 2005

Aaron Funk, a.k.a., Venetian Snares, is not like you and me. I suppose that anyone who writes music is inherently a little different, but (chemical substances aside) Funk occupies a completely alternate reality. Essentially, Funk inhabits a world of odd numbers.

A highly oversimplified generalization: all music is based around multiples of 2 or 4. The “normal” classical phrase is 8 measures long. Standard blues are 12 bars long. Detroit techno and Chicago house are both based around 4 bar units. There are, obviously, just as many exceptions to this rule as there are adherents, but it’s not a totally unfair generalization, especially in Funk’s chosen genre of electronic music. When you listen to a Venetian Snares record, though, the number that stands out most is 7 (occasionally 9 or 5). Listen closely, and you’ll hear it in every one of his beats; it’s that slight limp in the beat that makes it impossible to bob your head. Of course, Funk throws sounds at you so fast that it can be impossible to pick out the beat pattern, but once you notice that seven-beat, you’ll hear it in each and every one of his songs.

Cavalcade of Glee and Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms is just as confused as its title suggests. Unlike his last full-length, the spectacular Rossz Czillag Alatt Születtet, which was about the intersection of break beats and strings, there is no readily apparent theme to be found here. He has ditched the orchestral samples and their emotional weight, opting instead to return to his more familiar synths and drums and their less convoluted connotations. In fact, he is almost completely restricted to synthesized sounds save for the vocal samples in “Vache” and “Tache.” The pleasure here is more base, derived from strange processing, fast-paced, uneven, and unrepeated beats, and the occasional geeky joke, with “Pwintendo”s 8-bit melodies being only the most obvious. Even within that set of restrictions, Funk still makes music that is far more interesting than many of his fellow glitchcore travelers.

By Dan Ruccia

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