Venetian Snares - Winter In The Belly Of A Snake [Planet Mu - 2003]Yes, the Funkster is back again for another bombing assault George Bush would be proud of, and that at a time we've almost lost count of the amount of releases this year. Winter In The Belly Of A Snake is originally scheduled for a late January 2003 release, but some U.S. online shops already got it, and as an addictive fan boy I just couldn't wait.
Winter In The Belly Of A Snake is the final part of a trilogy of releases on Planet Mu this year. After Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits 1972-2006 (the most funky album) and 2370894 (brilliant leftovers) Winnipeg based Aaron Funk (what's in a name) has produced his best album to date. But the end of his creativity is nowhere in sight yet. A 3" CD A Giant Alien Force More Violent & Sick Than Anything You Can Imagine has just been released by Hymen in a very special box and next February Find Candace is planned plus the already over-hyped Nymphomatriarch (April), made out of his own sex sounds. One can wonder if this (over)dose of hyper-active nerve-wrecking breakcore harms Aaron Funk's ability to continue to develop good music, but so far there haven't been any complaints. No one has gained such a reputation in such a short time. Meanwhile, Richard D. James is pissing his pants. Or did he just move to Canada and took too much drugs?
Back To Winter In The Belly Of A Snake. The opening track Dad is, as the title implies, an ode to his late father featuring his own vocals, of course damaged in the usual Venetian Snares way. These facts show already that this is a more personal oriented album than any previous release, and the atmosphere is more emotional & troubled. The harsh breakcore beats are still there, but it's different, more like complex and chaotic drum 'n bass. "What's the difference?" you ask. You tell me. Stairs Song is more violent and disturbing than the opener, but very catchy at times because of the strings, making this most likely the best track on the album. In Quod is such a track as well, beautiful samples and very club-unfriendly beat structures and schemes. On the other hand, Winter In The Belly of A Snake is somewhat softer than his previous work, showing some more delicate and in depth moments rather than blowing your head off with aggressive sonic terror. A good example of this is the cover of She, originally performed by The Misfits. Certainly not the best track on the album, but it's good to see that Mr. Funk tries something different, fucking up the original to a level of weirdness The Misfits (or anyone else) would dream of.
More ambient tracks, like Dismantling Five Years on the Higgins... album, are present as well (Gottrahmen, Suffocate, Earth), pushing up the quality of variation sky-high. The dark atmosphere on these tracks can also be found on the other tracks, be it noisy or ambient-like. This has in no way affected the advancement or creativity on this album, in fact it has only grown.
Winter In The Belly Of A Snake is the most accessible and human album of Venetian Snares, but be warned! That doesn't mean a thing. I think for those who aren't able to handle the aggressive and noisier releases of this sound architect this is a perfect opportunity to like him. If he gets a statue sooner or later you'll be too late and accused of being a hanger on.
By the way, the artwork has once again been done by Trevor Brown, as on the Doll Doll Doll album. Very good indeed, and something different than the usual babyart Trevor is known for.
Picture by Weird Tom.Justin Faase