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    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Which motherfucker wanna see my dogs die


    Art by Stallio

    Violent times call for violent measures. And Venetian Snares, with its free-form carnage and propulsive energy, certainly fits that bill. From Aaron Funk's new album title, Detrimentalist, to the genre he's a leading figure in, breakcore, the focus is firmly on destruction over deconstruction. In his crosshairs, furied electronics detonate the line between song and noise. His hyperactive beats batter around meanly and dizzily like punchdrunk moshers. Pushing further and faster than peers like Aphex Twin and Autechre, this is music driven by pure unchecked id. It's coke-fueled binge, temper tantrum, and aerial assault all messily mashed together.

    Of course, that's pretty much been Funk's M.O. throughout his prolific decade-long career. (So far, he's managed to release fifteen EPs and, with Detrimentalist, a staggering seventeen full-length albums.) What separates this new work is his heavier reliance on vocal inserts and a restraint in indulging his more annoying experimental tendencies. Both those factors help make the music just a little more palatable, giving the breakneck abstraction a hint of shape. It also helps that the samples he's picked this time are uniformly cool, from KRS-One's dis track "Phucked" in "Gentleman" to the Massive Attack-esque dub joint in "Eurocore MVP."

    Two of the album's best songs, "Gentleman" and "Eurocore MVP" also splice fun stylistic flourishes into the relentless snarl. And even better, they aggressively reinforce the album's themes of anarchy and anomie. "Gentlemen, I'm here 'cause I fucked...," a heavily accented voice declares. "Somebody jump in my computer server and take the information out." Here, it's as much a smackdown of musical hacks as computer hacks, a declaration of war against Venetian Snares' pale imitators. In the latter song, against a minefield of explosive spikes, a mad rapper barks, "Which motherfucker wanna see my dogs die?" As his voice rises to a grotesque pitch, it's clear the senseless bloodshed's just getting started.

    * MP3: "Gentleman" - Venetian Snares from Detrimentalist
    * MP3: "Eurocore MVP" - Venetian Snares from Detrimentalist [Buy it]

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