Monday, 8 December 2008

Rossz csillag alatt született

Will Langdale is make for more with some Hungarian-sounding experimentalism for you to embarrass yourself trying to pronounce

Venetian Snares – Rossz csillag alatt született

Venetian Snares, aka Canadian Aaron Funk, is an artist notorious for his demanding music, lying somewhere between “'89-'91 summer of love”-style dance on albums such as Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits 1972-2006 and the experimental, harsh, speedy IDM found on Doll! doll! doll!. Rossz csillag alatt született (or “Born Under a Bad Star”), however, hits a clever medium, as he reworks Eastern European classical music with his ineffable skill at breakbeat drumwork.

The album starts low, working in such artists as Béla Bartók, but builds to the drums in a somewhat underwhelming way. The first hint of an embracing album comes with Öngyilkos vasárnap – a remix of Billie Holiday's version of Gloomy Sunday, better known as the notorious Hungarian suicide song. The track builds with glorious misery, the strange 7/4 time working beautifully despite a popular Western audience being generally adverse to the signature. Holiday's voice cuts through the unnerving, wailing synthesiser, and the following track, Felbomlasztott mentőkocsi, leads out from it to truly set the album up.

From there, Funk delves feverishly into dramatic sampled strings, piano, brass and clarinet, using Igor Stravinsky and Niccolò Paganini on Hajnal and Sir Edward Elgar in Szamár madár. One of the best pieces – and one that characterises the album's brooding ambiance and spasmodic beats – is Második galamb, prefaced by a foreboding female monologue, informing the album's artwork of pigeons taking flight. This mid-section is the real meat of the record, with the fantastic juxtaposition of Funk's sampling and rhythm creating an extremely informed hotch-potch of style.

The album comes to a head in the final two tracks, Kétsarkú mozgalom and Senki dala (Bipolar Movement and Nobody's Song). Kétsarkú mozgalom sounds as though it's leaking sadness through digital wounds, and Senki dala has a strange “for whom the bell tolls” ambiance to it, yet after a few listens they can seem somewhat lacking after the crafted brutality of the album's middle tracks. Although it rounds the pace of the album nicely, if anything, Rossz csillag alatt született falls down on its framing, despite being intensely intelligent and challenging throughout.

13 comments:

puthwuth said...

Good to see you broadening your range like this Will! Very nicely done.

DW

Anonymous said...

What an album!

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