Venetian Snares
The Chocolate Wheelchair Album

By Ed Chamberlin

The gloriously named Aaron Funk has released an unbelievable five albums since 2001 under the moniker Venetian Snares. The Canadian has made a name for himself with his preposterously complex drum 'n bass, which makes Aphex Twin sound like Brian Eno. Although he has lost none of his intensity, The Chocolate Wheelchair Album is Mr Funk's pop album. From Abomination Street, which sacrilegiously mauls the Coronation Street theme tune with hilarious results, to Herbie Goes Ballistic, a truly gruesome deconstruction of the kiddies' favourite, Funk rampages through with the intensity of an already-hyperactive child having drunk too much Sunny D.

What amazes though, is his attention to detail. Every track is packed full of little sonic surprises, whether it be Too Young, which samples Mötley Crüe's Too Young To Fall In Love and twists it into a funky party anthem or Ghetto Boy Buddy, which sees gruff rave shouts phased and pitchshifted into unrecognisable shapes over richter-scale bothering hip hop beats. Although he takes amazing liberties with the genres he touches, namely hip hop and drum 'n' bass, his wry sense of humour lends the music a human side among the inhuman beats and samples. The single Einstein-Rosen Bridge is a perfect example: funk guitar loops and wrong-footing drum 'n' bass rhythms thunder along accompanied by what sounds like the theme song from some obscure sci-fi television show. It arouses the kind of excitement and fear you only felt as a child, when you were spun round by the arms by your parents.

It is not all fun and games though, Marty's Tardis layers sepulchral synth washes over a vicious drill and bass assault, which is truly terrifying.  This is, however, but a minor blip on what is otherwise a very optimistic album, although the decadent excess is almost overwhelming and may put many off. But for those who find Squarepusher too simplistic or Aphex Twin too subdued, this is definitely worth checking out. Oh, and great cover artwork too.
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