This brand new project is the collaboration between Toronto-based producer Joanne Pollock and abrasive breakcore overlord Aaron Funk, a.k.a. Venetian Snares. While the LP does sound more Pollock than Funk, it's still miles away from either artist's usual stomping ground. Recorded at Funk's home in Winnipeg, mostly during the wee hours, Poemss possesses a distinct dream-like feel.
Venetian Snares, aka Canadian sonic manipulator Aaron Funk, has been making brilliantly inventive and thrilling electronic music for over 20 years now. From his early days as an early pioneer of break-core and experiments with samples and all manner of strange sounds, Funk established himself as a musician unafraid to experiment and defy convention. Having released records across numerous labels and formats, Funk has once again gone against prevailing expectations with his latest musical project.
Aaron Funk is Venetian Snares, and Venetian Snares is one half of Poemss, but without a nudge and a wink, you would never mistake these identities for the same person while listening to Poemss. Sure, the debut album from his partnership with Toronto producer-cum-vocalist Joanne Pollock trades in an abstracted “surrealism” that Funk attributed to his solo work in a 2003 interview, and sure, he even croons on a few excursions here and there. But other than these two parallels, there’s little to confuse his new vehicle with his old.
Venetian Snares (aka Aaron Funk) mangled my ears as an impressionable teenager with his break-core masterpiece Rossz Csillag Alatt Született (Planet Mu, 2005) and was my gateway drug to the even more frantic stylings of maniacs such as Squarepusher and Autechre. Now he’s making strung-out psyche-pop as Poemss with Toronto producer and music artist Joanne Pollock and it’s a kind of glorious mellow come down. There’s not a break-beat on the record, all the angular angst replaced with sparse but meaningful glitches and melodic spurts of synth.
Poemss, a collaboration between Venetian Snares' Aaron Funk and Joanne Pollock, was made in the early hours of the morning at Funk's Winnipeg home, and seems to channel the freak sensations of lucid dreaming into music. Abandoning, for the moment, the hard-edged dance music with which he made his name, Funk instead has worked with Pollock, a relatively unknown Canadian artist, to produce an album both ethereal and melancholy. Poemss has struck a minor key that works in a series of soft drums and reverb, one that pitches into the nursery-rhyme territory of classicist Carl Orff and back into the Braindance world of the weird, schizophrenic beats championed by Planet Mu founder Mike Parandinas.
Poemss — Poemss (Planet Mu)It has been 16 years since Aaron Funk first appeared as Venetian Snares on a split cassette he released with DJ Fishead titled Eat Shit and Die. Whether by accident or by design, that title turned out to be an almost perfect slogan for Funk’s music over the next decade and a half. His absolute dedication to intensity, choice of subject matter, and juvenile sense of humor have always added up to unnerving, hilarious and sometimes just plain disturbing records, filled with warp speed tempos, oddball samples, and a smorgasbord of unlikely references, from serial killers and sexual violence to Star Trek and Dadaism.