Music

Venetian Snares: Pink + Green

This is a Venetian Snares EP, so of course it's technically better than 90% of the breakcore being released right now, but it stumbles in crucial ways, especially when cast in the harsh light of expectation.


Venetian Snares

Pink + Green

Label: Sublight
US Release Date: 2007-04-03
UK Release Date: 2007-03-26
Amazon
iTunes

After the sweeping glory of the opening of the last Venetian Snares EP, Hospitality -- which quoted directly from the New Age Playbook with deep ambient pads, jabs of East-Asianish percussive melody, and even, yes, some traces of cosmic voices, all before getting down to the important business of full-on celestial demolition -- I guess I was just hoping for more from the latest effort. Pink + Green, out now on Sublight, is a Venetian Snares EP, so of course it's technically better than 90 percent of the breakcore being released right now, but it stumbles in crucial ways, especially when viewed under the harsh light of expectation. Winnipeg's Aaron Funk has proven his ability to push his own limits to such an extent now that when he stands still, it's all the more jarring.

The new EP seems to be unified by general rave/dancefloor blueprints, or as close to such as Funk's syncopated, off-time jackhammer of a percussion section will allow. We've heard this sort of thing before, and the only differences this time around are a vague smoothing of some of the more abrasive edges and adherence to the turn-of-the-century drum-and-bass tradition of including a V.I.P. mix of the title track. That mix, with its crisp (though still perhaps the disc's most breakneck) drum programming and eviscerating tech-step bassline, fares the best of the bunch, especially by de-emphasizing the original mix's grating processed vocals, giving them something closer to background-sample status. Furthermore, the track's gradual build and lapses into ambiance more accurately mimic classic tech step pacing, underscoring just how far Funk is pushing the formulas. The original mix, which kicks off the EP, seems to be clutching at a similar sort of dark dancefloor status, but without the sleek sense of effortlessness. And whatever success the track manages tends to be overridden by the overbearing vocals pushed front and center for much of the track, forced out in front as the main course when they should have been used as garnish. Messy and out of place, the questionable vocal work just makes me fondly remember the lightly applied vocals of the first Sublight EP title track, "Horse and Goat", or even the weird murmur of "Beverly's Potatoe Orchestra", from the aforementioned Hospitality.

Subsequent tracks follow rote Venetian Snares patterns of PCP-fueled jungle programming (as on the unnecessary additional Pink + Green version of "Nutimik", perhaps the most non-descript Snares track in the last two years) or, on the Doll Doll Doll outtake closer, thorough gabber bludgeoning. Most of these songs would be reasonably impressive in a vacuum (or, assuredly, to new listeners) and the EP would, I suppose, serve as a serviceable primer of some key Snares techniques. But within the ever-evolving continuum of Snares releases, against the lush backdrop of the last EP, Pink + Green comes off as reactionary and phoned-in. Such are the stakes of success. Aaron Funk, we know you can do better and we can't wait for you to prove it.

5

Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.

Music

Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.

Television

Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.

Film

Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.

Music

The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Music

Gloom Balloon Deliver an Uplifting Video for "All My Feelings For You" (premiere)

Gloom Balloon's Patrick Tape Fleming considers what making a music video during a pandemic might involve because, well, he made one. Could Fellini come up with this plot twist?

Music

Brian Cullman Gets Bluesy with "Someday Miss You" (premiere)

Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.

Music

IDLES Have Some Words for Fans and Critics on 'Ultra Mono'

On their new album, Ultra Mono, IDLES tackle both the troubling world around them and the dissenters that want to bring them down.

Music

Napalm Death Return With Their Most Vital Album in Decades

Grindcore institution Napalm Death finally reconcile their experimental side with their ultra-harsh roots on Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism.

Film

NYFF: 'Notturno' Looks Passively at the Chaos in the Middle East

Gianfranco Rosi's expansive documentary, Notturno, is far too remote for its burningly immediate subject matter.

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

The Avett Brothers Go Back-to-Basics with 'The Third Gleam'

For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.

Music

PM Picks Playlist 1: Rett Madison, Folk Devils + More

The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.

Books

David Lazar's 'Celeste Holm  Syndrome' Appreciates Hollywood's Unsung Character Actors

David Lazar's Celeste Holm Syndrome documents how character actor work is about scene-defining, not scene-stealing.

Music

David Lord Salutes Collaborators With "Cloud Ear" (premiere)

David Lord teams with Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground) for a new collection of sweeping, frequently meditative compositions. The results are jazz for a still-distant future that's still rooted in tradition.

Music

Laraaji Takes a "Quiet Journey" (premiere +interview)

Afro Transcendentalist Laraaji prepares his second album of 2020, the meditative Moon Piano, recorded inside a Brooklyn church. The record is an example of what the artist refers to as "pulling music from the sky".

Music

Blues' Johnny Ray Daniels Sings About "Somewhere to Lay My Head" (premiere)

Johnny Ray Daniels' "Somewhere to Lay My Head" is from new compilation that's a companion to a book detailing the work of artist/musician/folklorist Freeman Vines. Vines chronicles racism and injustice via his work.

Music

The Band of Heathens Find That Life Keeps Getting 'Stranger'

The tracks on the Band of Heathens' Stranger are mostly fun, even when on serious topics, because what other choice is there? We all may have different ideas on how to deal with problems, but we are all in this together.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.