Four musical pieces, four riddles, as stated in the usually unusual press release for Venetian Snares’ Fool the Detector — his second EP this year so far, after the rather conventional Affectionate — partly as sarcastic, nonsensical comments on the music-making process, partly as a semantic column that shows how Aaron Funk’s raw sense of humor operates, which also relates to his sense of sonic structural organization: uneasy, disjointed, disturbing.
Funk’s output has always presented the idea of hybrid beings, mutant species obtained through cross-breeding of genres, and as usually happens in his genetics laboratory, the results are monstrous and grotesque. A style-free vocal mantra dominates the music in “Ego DSP;” the voice assumes variations on the same personality and subtly becomes distorted as it moves along unknown territories, as if indeed representing the psychic apparatus of signal processing: a deformed self that’s immersed in a pre-conscious matrix of scattered rhythms. “We could communicate,” claims that deranged voice. It’s an optimistic but unfeasible goal that’s eventually buried under an avalanche of panned fragments, until finally torn apart in “Fool The Detector.” Here, the language is atomized into its phones, its garbled ruins frantically trying to adhere to the synthetic landscape.
Arid, dramatic synth passages in“Chriohn” witness the classic analog/digital dichotomy turning into a relationship of power, a struggle for control. By means of overexposure of melodic sequencers in a well-defined space, the analog finally frees the digital after a series of recursive combats: continuous deformation within a grid of quantized transformations. Hence, the comment of MIDI technology as being too limited and absurd when used as a superior hierarchy: it remains subjugated to the laws of one particular musical system that has been universalized for electronic music and thus constrains all creative possibilities. And hence the proposal for an alternative to the traditional coupling of electronic devices, one that could end in semi-controlled turbulence. Among this restless saturation of discontinuous elements, regular techno beats arise momentarily in “Index Pavilion” just to be replaced by jumpy beats rearranging into a manic stream of consciousness. Certainly, sounds happen at an introspective level on this EP, configuring the music as an image of an agitated, almost convulsive mind. “See if you recognize your thoughts in this one!” Always prolific and polemic, Venetian Snares still manages to make a psych(ot)ic impression on the unprepared listener.