Breakcore pioneer Aaron Funk, better known as Venetian Snares, has been known for his irreverent take on all manner of dance music sub-genres for over two decades. His 1999 12” EP Greg Hates Car Culture was his first official release, which now gets a 20th anniversary re-issue on CD and double-vinyl, complete with three previously unreleased tracks dating from 1997.
Vinyl Double LP £19.99 TIMESIG003
Reissue 2LP on Timesig.
- Includes download code
CD £9.17 TIMESIG003CD
Reissue CD on Timesig.
In 2013 an architect-programmer called Michael Hansmeyer made a physical structure with 1.3 billion separate surfaces called 'Digital Grotesque II'. It was so complex that it could only be visualized in parts by a supercomputer in Zurich. I think this piece serves as a useful analogue for Venetian Snares' music.
When I first heard Venetian Snares it was like putting a 12" on at 45 speed, missing a step when going downstairs, and experiencing a hypnic jerk all at the same times. Like 'Digital Grotesque II', Venetian Snares' music is uncompromising and intricate to the point of incomprehension. His first official release was an EP called 'Greg Hates Car Culture' and it's been given a reissue by the good people at Timesig.
In the same way that Burial's 'Untrue' was able to conjure the feel of a city night spent in a garage pirate radio station, on 'Greg Hates Car Culture' Venetian Snares seems to conjure the sound of the internet itself: impenetrable, impossible to categorize, and thrilling. 'Greg Hates Car Culture' is music with an attention deficit disorder. Towering sonic structures give way to a single one-note bassline, tangents are followed, and stuff seems to happen simply for the sake of it. 'Greg Hates Car Culture' is like the opposite of ambient music. It demands not to be ignored but it really couldn't care less whether its interesting.
You and I are constantly wrong-footed. The moment you think you have a hold on the groove a change comes in, be it bit-crushed bassline or crescendo of electronic feedback. Like Hansmeyer's sculpture, there are no sensory footholds, reference points, or home stars.
I think the 7/4 time signatures that Venetian Snares utilises on this album are very important in understanding the MO of Ventian Snares. 7/4 is an impish time signature that throws you off right at the last moment. The listener's optimistic search for a comforting rhythm is constantly thwarted. The thud of a maternal heartbeat has been replaced by the irregular beep of an artificial incubator.
Speaking of which, both this album and 'The Matrix' came out in 1999. It seems that there was a cultural anxiety about the possibilities of technology and whether a grave mistake had been made somewhere down the line. The key characters, both computer programmers of sorts, differ on their attitudes to this impending catastrophe. Whereas Neo rebels against the machines, Venetian Snares merely seeks to control them and make girthy beats.
There are no pretentions to any organic or natural sensibility. 'Greg Hates Car Culture' is a grotesque and digital mirror held up to grotesque and digital modern condition.
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- Greg Hates Car Culture (20th Anniversary Edition) by Venetian Snares
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