Styles: drill & bass, glitch, breakcore, intelligent DnB
Others: Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Bogdan Raczynski, HrvÃ¥tski, Evol Intent, Shitmat
"DON'T FUCK WITH THE FILTH!" - Grant Morrison
The early reaction to Filth, Aaron Funk's 16th proper album under the name Venetian Snares, was inexcusably harsh. For those only paying attention since 2005's critically lauded classical breakcore exploration Rossz Csillag Alatt Született, it's understandable that one would expect the Venetian Snares stamp to grace only the most ballistic drill 'n' bass and horrifyingly intelligent jungle on the market. Instead, Filth takes a brave turn towards melding VSnares' aggro breaks with his more subtle, drawn-out Last Step persona, a project he developed to unleash pure acid techno. Consequently, the glitch-crazed unbelievers started a revolt against this somehow less-complicated direction before it was even released, but this rebellion was about as justified as the second Gulf War.
For the longterm fan, however, the direction explored on Filth is far from unexpected. Aside from the Last Step albums, "Kyokushin" and "Flashforward" from 2008's Detrimentalist presupposed this acid/jungle fusion with their raunchy 303 lines and bleepy space atmosphere. "Poo Yourself Jason" also went there on his last record, pooling acid synths with old-school pop samples, and traces could be also found in the closing "Miss Balaton" progressive downtempo epic. The appearance of the most exciting and gnarly acid record of all time is indeed baffling, but then again, I have been a Venetian Snares mind-controlled sex slave for many years now. I have come to anticipate a limitless variety of alien autopsy child kill torture giraffe rape, and Filth is a bold thread in that rich tapestry.
Keeping with the album title, most of the tracks have brutally perverse names, like "Chainsaw Fellatio," "Splooj Guzzlers," and "Pussy Skull." Also keeping with the title, these excursions into the darkest depths of acid bring more distortion and spine-breaking beats to the genre than witnessed in a dozen Luke Vibert or Ceephax records. Its sound is unnerving and uncomfortable, groundbreaking in its field, and yet it is the most accessible Venetian Snares record he has released since the critically lauded Hungarian album. At the very least, the song structure is focused on logical albeit extremely intelligent beats. I mean, the man's favorite time signature is 7/4, so one can only expect so much, and this album makes it seem like a completely normal pace to dance to.
"Deep Dicking" sets the tone for Filth. It begins with pure digital distortion, quickly introducing an up-tempo beat, over which the feedback forms into a downward cycling 303 melody that squelches and snarls in just the right nipple-tweaking way. Following that, "Crashing The Yogurt Truck" takes essentially the same downward melodic progression, but fills it out with a colorful assortment of sounds, more bloops, bleeps, classic synthetic noises, and a little Speak & Spell action. It's not all techno variations, though. "Chainsaw Fellatio" bends the 303s around a disjointed dubstep beat so unruly it could make Burial rethink his gangsta samples, while "Kakarookee Hates Me" rolls along to mega BPM gabber turf. I'm pretty sure we don't want to guess why Kakarookee, Funk's cat, took a dislike to him. In any case, you'll be hard-pressed to find two tracks in the entire Venetian Snares catalogue that are built the same way, let alone on this record.
Regardless of genre, Filth has a place in Venetian Snares' trajectory, and is every bit as intricate, insane, and intensicore as anything else he's ever released. Trying to hang a definitive genre classification on this guy for anything he's ever done is like taking a Rorschach inkblot test. There is a reason why his press releases are written like this:
Venetian Snares, aka Pants Geronemo, aka Buttercock Lesbummer, aka the biggest retard on earth, has once again turned his toilet fantasies into something you can buy at the store, shove in your whore mouth and puke up thru a glory hole into a stranger's gaping anus. Financing the dubstep scene since 2005, Venetian Snares has somehow again, not bothered to make anything remotely like a Benga record from 3 years ago, instead reaching deep down into the bottomless pit of electronic genres gone by and digging out acid techno for a thoroughly humiliating raping of the sound. This is the shittiest acid record ever made! Venetian Snares actually covered his 303s with his own feces and twisted the knobs with his rock hard cock! At one point he even taped a 303 to a prostitute and kicks the shit out of her legs.
So, why is this press release written like this? Because Aaron Funk is a certifiable genius and off his nut (he's probably a pervert too, but what superstar isn't?). He is to Pendulum what Eminem is to Asher Roth. Pendulum takes years between their albums, and they aren't a third as complex or menacing as this record. Venetian Snares took 10 months to release Filth, and that was a long wait for him. You can't judge his albums by expectation. Each album requires new aesthetic criteria, and under this light, Filth is easily one of his best yet.
1. Deep Dicking
2. Crashing The Yogurt Truck
4. Mongoloid Alien
5. Chainsaw Fellatio
6. Kimberly Clark
7. Calvin Kleining
8. Kakarookee Hates Me
9. Splooj Guzzlers
10. Pussy Skull