Thursday, 21 August 2014

Recommended music: 'My Love Is A Bulldozer' by Venetian Snares

A record that's almost impossible to categorize, and as hard to review, Aaron Funk's first album as Venetian Snares sounds like everything ever made and nothing ever made, often all at once. It's clearly a concept album, and a high concept at that, but what to call it? A breakcore musical? Post-post-modern jazz-tronica? 22nd century classical? Whatever you decide on, it's clear that he's not short of ideas, and if he lacks a bit of self-control about which ones to use, then it still results in probably the most startling album you'll hear all year.

If it's ostentatious, or pretentious, or over the top, then it's deliberately so. This is not a record that you could ever accuse of taking itself too seriously, although that doesn't detract from the quality or the scale of ambition that's on display here. From the initial, jazz-club drums on opener '10th Circle of Winnipeg',  and the Shirley Bassey-esque vocals, through the string-laden 'Deleted Poems', and onto the tracks the Funk sings himself like '1000 Years' and 'Amazon' the album is kind of coherently all over the place.

If you were going to analyse just one track then 'My Love Is A Bulldozer' is probably the one to look at. Imagine you heard the following lyrics on a rap record - you'd think nothing of it, and probably wouldn't even notice.

My dick feels so hard it could break apart
My love is a bulldozer on the shores of paradise
My love is a bulldozer in heaven
Only you can make my dick feel like this, oh baby

But here, sung in Funk's leisurely baritone, over a backing that's alternately swooping strings and batshit-crazy percussion, you can't help but notice them. Is there a point he's trying to make here, or is it just crudeness for the sake of it? Is he trying to highlight the vacuity of some hip-hop lyrics, or is this his attempt at a love song? We'll probably never know, but it's a good indicator of how thought provoking this record is.

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