Now Playing: bring that beat back w/billy jam (wfmu.org)
Topic: 2002 reviews (Jul.-Sep.)
[this review was originally posted to the BSOTS website in august of 2002. if there is someone releasing crazier compositions than Venetian Snares, i'm not sure i wanna know about it. make sure to check out the Bleep player below to listen to songs from this album...]
Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits 1972-2006
Record label: Planet Mu (UK)
Release date: 27 May 2002
Dr. Strangebreak recently made a house call. In other words, my need for extreme music has come back something fierce. It was about that time that I decided to take a return trip to Planet Mu, whereupon I learned of the recent antics of one Aaron Funk. Known to hundreds of noisecore-lovin' freaks as Venetian Snares, he has moved fast and furious through the mysterious realm of fringe element beats. Jungle and hardcore become hideously mutated and even the hardest of the hard find themselves running for the hills, or at least wishing for something more linear.
Higgins…is a wild romp that experiments mostly with various styles of jungle. The opener ("Dance Like You're Selling Nails") works in a bit of opera into the formula, even including a vocalist singing phrases like "rudeboy" and "junglist massive" in this really affected opera voice. From there, it throws in a bit of a surf motif as performed by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Some of the tracks are so fast it's as if they're whizzing by your head, but the complexities involved in creating them aren't lost on the ear. Examine the scattered jazz fusion of "Banana Seat Girl" or "Valmer Side," demented tech-step in 7/4 time. "Deadman DJ" is relentless ragga-splattered jungle on speed. You know the feeling you get when you ride the Gravitron, that amusement park ride that spins you round at speeds so fast you stick to the wall? That's what "Deadman DJ" is on wax: messy, bludgeoned beats flung across your brain. "Dismantling Five Years" offers the only chance to slow down, and even then it's rather unsettling. Quieter moments from Mr. Funk come few and far between, but he doesn't make it easy for you - this is a haunting tranquility.
Very few in the game are moving with the speed and the brashness of Venetian Snares. Every release is another chapter in rekindling the spirit of punk and challenging musical conventions - even those of his peers. Apparently, he's far from finished: two more albums are scheduled to be released on Planet Mu before the end of the year. Spastic times call for spastic tunes…thanks, Aaron.