after an impressive number of releases this year, I have been wondering if venetian snares has reached the top, effectively stopping his musical evolution. indeed, with a large number of tracks that deviated from his original style and seemed flat and uninspired, one had the right to wonder.
I am very much pleased to discover that there is still a lot of room to grow - aaron funk chooses to further explore his trademark broken beat sound, adding more compositional elements and instruments in to the mix. winter in the belly of a snake transcends the limitations of idm and breakcore genres, where music, stripped down from stylistical fluff or extreme and simple emotions, rarely amounts to much. still retaining the energy and aggression, he adds more atmosphere and mood, toys with various classical instruments and even adds vocals. the album sounds like a complete and thought-out work, not pieced together exercises in sound design.
one is greeted by a familiar mass of shredded breakbeats and samples, but instead of quickly becoming a tiresome tedious breakbeat pileup that are so common in the genre (i really cannot take more than 20-30 minutes of those at a time), his stuff *always* has a drive, a flow, a certain quality that makes you follow the music, be intrigued by it, quickening your heartbeat, making you grin happily as your pulse races, trying to catch up with bpm rate. underneath all that complexity there always is *something* - be it traces of classical instruments, or atonal piano line, or simply a dark brooding string - it comes in when you expect it the least, a welcome treat, a strange allusion, a sidestep, a bizarre escapade that stumps you. despite the incredible complexity and broken rhythms, snares always has a sense of depth - there is always a shattering break, a deep bass-heavy beat falling through these messy layers of clicks and whirrs. there is no contrived "flat" fuzziness of clicks and cuts - none of the annoying one-dimensional dsp-trickery - all of it becomes tightly integrated with the rest of music. the production quality is amazing - none of my usual gripes about ghetto junk punk aesthetics apply here - crisp, clean, without the sins of overproduction that comes as a result of drum&bass going pop - winter in a belly of a snake is rough and messy, rich and physical. one has to listen to the album in the place where one can feel the bass with the body - it is the music that works on both levels - purely physical, ripping through your chest with those bass-heavy waves and at the same time creating intricate, incredibly dynamic, continuously evolving angular structures. the sound is damn sexy, carnal and seductive on so many levels. it seems that his upcoming material with hecate is a continuation of these themes.