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Venetian Snares: Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett (2005) October 12, 2009

Posted by sjroby in Canadian content, Music.
Venetian Snares: Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett

Venetian Snares: Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett

When it looked, briefly, like drum ‘n’ bass was going to be the next big thing in dance and electronic music to hit the mainstream, I didn’t get into it. (Instead, it just became the soundtrack for many years of car commercials.) The hyperactive skittery drums seemed to get slathered onto a variety of musical styles, making it seem like more like a fad than a style. If you have a soul/R&B tune on top of that percussion, and something contructed out of jazz loops on top of that percussion, and ominous dark ambient synth sounds on top of that percussion, are those all part of the same genre just because they’re constructed on top of looped breakbeats? Well, I still don’t know. I still haven’t listened to a lot of drum’n’bass or jungle, though I make occasional efforts.

But somehow this album caught my attention, and I downloaded it when it popped up on eMusic. It’s not one of my neglected or forgotten downloads, though; I’ve played it fairly often. It just takes a certain mood to appreciate it. On this album, Venetian Snares works with the aggressive drill’n’bass style of dnb percussion — or maybe breakcore; depends whose review you’re reading, and I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on this part of the musical continuum; but the music is primarily sampled from classical albums (aside from one track, built on samples from Billie Holiday’s take on legendary suicide song “Gloomy Sunday”). Some tracks are devoid of percussion, like the sinister “Felbomlasztott Mentökocsi.” On others, the orchestral samples are given time to create a mood and sense of direction before the percussion comes in. “Hajnal” starts with some speedy string playing and, eventually piano, before changing gears into something much jazzier, with light jazz-style drumming instead of dnb percussion, before returning to the ominous strings, which are soon joined by an assault of dnb percussion and synth noises.

If there’s a near-mainstream comparison I can make, it would be with some of the tracks on Bjork’s Homogenic album, which also used strings and drum’n’bass percussion tracks. But this is almost entirely instrumental, and for that matter much more mental. Sometimes it’s hard not to laugh at the stuff Aaron Funk, the guy behind Venetian Snares, pulls off here; there’s a sheer sense of delight and exuberance about the possibilities of mashing things up that don’t conventionally go together, and an energy that makes this a blast to listen to (preferably at high volume). It’s beautiful and noisy and glorious. I haven’t heard any other Venetian Snares stuff, because I gather that this is something of an anomaly. Still, it’s hard not to be curious… in a world where Canadian music brings to mind people like Nickelback, Celine Dion, and the Barenaked Ladies, this is a welcome alternative.



1. micah stupak - October 12, 2009

well played. this is really an excellent album (and, for my tastes, the only venetian snares album worth listening to). it’s a shame few other have done straight d’n’b with straight strings.

2. dithyramb555 - November 24, 2009

Venetian snares is fanatical in his range of genre collage, and drives home the aesthetic nuance of drum and bass style. Such a badass album. Check out his earlier breakbeat stuff, like his 7″s… and this sense of unrelenting creativity in the realm of time signatures like eleven and seven show his amazing creativity when it comes to engineering a beat.

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