Album Review: My Love is a Bulldozer by Venetian Snares
Fairly Good, Based on 7 Critics
Resident Advisor - 80 Based on rating 4.0/5
For a genre with such distinctive features, breakcore has always been a multifaceted beast. Due to the very nature of the style, it can absorb other genres with ease, creating a specific sound without compromising the frantic brutality of its hardtek and jungle roots. No one knows this better than Aaron Funk, AKA Venetian Snares. His use of neo-classical sounds on 2005's Rossz Csillag Alatt Született made that record one of breakcore's most important albums.
Amidst all the frantic changes of the electronic music scene, Aaron Funk has remained something of an inscrutable character. Because his music has always forged an insular path, not bound to trends, he has enjoyed a career longevity unmatched by many of his peers. His reluctance to commodify his own music by releasing it (or writing coherent press releases) has given him a sort of critical kevlar, where the only real critiques leveled against him have had to rely on cross-examination against his own work.
Planet Mu has always cultivated the talents of dance music’s mad professors. Most of Aaron Funk’s (aka Venetian Snares) compositions have their roots in the manic drum’n’bass subgenre breakcore, which has long been favoured by label boss Mike Paradinas. However, Funk’s days of pumping out instrumentals with oblique titles are numbered. The controlled chaos is here interspersed with episodes from this “twisted scientist’s” romantic life, sung by the Canadian himself.
Aaron Funk is a man with fingers in a frankly indecent number of pies, so you can perhaps forgive him for his tardiness as far as the Venetian Snares canon is concerned; this is his first proper full-length under the moniker in four years, and the last one - My So-Called Life - was, by his own admission, a deliberate rush-job, likened to “diary entries” rather than anything more substantial. Not that Funk has ever been a major stickler for cohesion; like most of his work, My Love Is a Bulldozer is defined by its diffuse nature. It’s a record, too, that possesses all the subtlety of that titular vehicle; opener “10th Circle of Winnipeg” is precisely seven minutes of pulsating breakbeat that occasionally lets up for brief snatches of synth-flavoured respite.
The latest album from Aaron Funk starts off in the manner of the vehicle in its title, with '10th Circle Of Winnipeg', a truly superlative track in the Venetian Snares canon. The title makes clear what Funk thinks of Manitoba's capital city, and the track is suitably moody, claustrophobic and bleak. As has been his wont of late, Funk melds electronics and breakbeats with strident string lines, creating a bizarre hybrid of high-octane dance music and modern classical, whilst a female voice (sounding remarkably similar to Billie Holiday, heard on 2005's Rossz Csillag Alatt Született, Funk's masterpiece) gloomily intones about snow, emptiness, hatred and the meaningless of life.