Venetian Snares Cubist Reggae

Venetian Snares Cubist Reggae
Winnipeg, MB refugee and master of all things digital hardcore Aaron Funk has got his groove back. Also known as Last Step and Venetian Snares, Funk sounds inspired again with the Cubist Reggae EP, after a poor reception to his dubstep-influenced Filth in early 2009, and a relatively sparse 2010, following a decade of intensely prolific output. Where his most recent album, My So-Called Life, from late '10, was essentially a scattershot collage regurgitation of older material tossed off in a day or two, Cubist Reggae is realized with razor-sharp focus. Funk does have a reputation as a mad genius capable of creating fantastic, intricate works in the same amount of time it takes most of us to find a parking spot, but this EP comes across as extravagant and extroverted rather than recycled and self-indulgent. Like you would imagine from the title, Cubist Reggae sees Funk appropriate certain instrumentation and production techniques traditionally associated with reggae, specifically reverb and guitar sounds, reworking them into his usual form of stop-short beats, ominous vocal manipulations and gut-wrenching melodies, all arranged in odd-numbered time signatures. While the dubstep direction was a little too trendy for some, the tension between reggae's affiliation with downtempo chill and Funk's penchant for breakcore brutality heard in this EP are at once obvious and effortless, thanks to its undeniably skilful execution. This is Venetian Snares at his most accessible, yet true to himself and his continually astounding genius. (Planet Mu)