VENETIAN SNARES – Filth (2009)

Venetian Sanres - Filth I first came into contact with Aaron Funk (who performs under as Venetian Snares) with 2005’s magnificently weird Rossz csillag alatt született (Hungarian for “Born Under A Bad Star”), an album in which Funk dissected a plethora of classical pieces (as well as Billie Holiday’s version of Gloomy Sunday, a song with a history that’s steeped in myth and stigma) and then proceeded to turn them into glitchy, jagged IDM seizures. Considering how unique an approach Funk had to his material on that album, I was rather disappointed when I discovered that much of his other material (and there’s a lot of it) is, more or less, strictly breakcore (and yes, that is a legitimate genre of music – it’s a breakbeat-centric version of digital hardcore).

To his credit, Funk has a good ear for texture and contrast, and his music is delightfully unpredictable (he achieves this through a combination of atypical meters and stop/start rhythmic change-ups). But nothing’s he’s done has impressed me as much as Rossz csillag alatt született did. So, 4 years (and six albums) later, Venetian Snares have released Filth, an album which delivers exactly what the name implies. One could take a quick look at the tracklist of the album (which includes songs like Pussy Skull, Splooj Guzzlers and Chainsaw Fellatio), and make the perfectly logical assumption that the music contained therein is grindcore (or some variant thereof). But you’d be wrong. Filth is an album of locked-in electronic hiccups that collide over pulsing beats and grating anti-melodies. It’s an album that’s the polar-opposite of Dan Deacon’s Bromst – instead of cascading layers of carefree delirium, there’s an unyielding, rudimentary ugliness that’s so remarkably consistent, criticizing it seems kind of self-defeating. If Tom Jenkinson went on a weekend bender, and decided (after vomiting on himself), that he wanted to do an album right now, it’d probably sound close to what Filth is.

I’m not a breakcore expert by any means, so I can’t really say how well this albums stacks up against the rest of the genre, but I can say that, despite Funk’s commendable commitment to his digital hostility, I think I still prefer Rossz csillag alatt született; that album has some truly haunting moments on it – Filth, on the other hand, isn’t much else beyond offensive (even if it’s almost blissfully so).

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One Response to “VENETIAN SNARES – Filth (2009)”

  1. i wrote this a while back, and it’s somewhat exhaustive:

    http://dhex.wordpress.com/2007/08/18/venetian-snares-a-users-guide/

    anyway, my two cents is that breakcore is like any other kind of aggressive music, but moreso. it’s not supposed to be pretty. rossz is an anomaly, but great in its own right.

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