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An eclectic electric thrill machine: odd but quite superb,
This review is from: Detrimentalist (Audio CD)
The ludicrously prolific Canadian breakcore wünderkind presents his umpteenth full-length release in as many years. 'The Detrimentalist' sees Aaron Funk taking a more 'fun' approach after a number of releases showcasing the spookier, more avant-garde side of his aeuvre. Not that this album is in any way light or easy - Snares's intricate beats are as dense and as brain-fried as ever. Why play one idea per second when a dozen will do?
Much of 'The Detrimentalist' pays subtle homage to classic drum'n'bass, insofar as the actual breakbeats used are familiar from the olden-days of the junglist massive, and this time round the samples favour rap and ragga MCing rather than 20th Century classical. Not that this is 'Venetian Snares sells out' - it's still a monstrously messed-up, difficult, noisy record; if it's maybe more accessible than some of his other works, that's only comparatively speaking. The man-in-the-street would still think it a horrible hectic racket, and rightly so. What the hell did the man-in-the-street ever know about good music?
There's so much to love. Opener 'Gentleman' lays out all the cards, and is the most jungle of the lot, recalling all of the aboriginal dark humid malice of early breakbeat; on 'Poo Yourself Jason' loving tribute is paid to the squelchy 303s of the acid house era; elsewhere, corny Mr Spock mysticism meets old-school bleep; there's prog chops vs. kung-fu cool; skittering broken-machine tics rattle across the rhythms in obtuse time signatures; brutal shards of sampling lacerate the surface of an all-too-human musicality with a bestial hunger for pure sound. Epic stuff. The only problem with 'The Detrimentalist' is your inability to keep up with the torrent of originality, but that's long been an occupational hazard for Snares fans: he actively defies the listener not to flake out under the bombardment. It's well worth the effort. There might have been prettier records in 2008 but there's been nothing so truly nourishing as this; it's like an unstoppable epileptic sex-toy for your ears, only cheaper and better, and your neighbours can join in the fun guilt-free.