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Aaron Funk

Aaron FunkBorn: 11-Jan-1975
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Electronic Musician

Nationality: Canada
Executive summary: Venetian Snares

Better known by his recording alias Venetian Snares, Aaron Funk is one of the more astonishing musicians to emerge from the midwest breakcore scene in the early 00s. He has distinguished himself both by his meticulous approach to composition and by the abundance of his releases -- more than 20 albums since his 1999 debut, along with a slew of seven-inches, remixes, and compilation appearances. His beat programming is often characterised by its aversion to strict repetition and preference for asymmetric time signatures.

Funk began self-releasing his music on cassettes in the late 1990s, culminating in his first twelve-inch, Greg Hates Car Culture (1999), on the now-defunct History of the Future label. Containing songs composed as early as 1994, the album was discovered by Mike Paradinas (also known as µ-Ziq) while travelling through Minneapolis, and soon Funk was signed to Paradinas's Planet Mu label. His first releases on that label came in 2001, and seem rather uncharacteristic compared to his later albums for Mu -- Making Orange Things, a collaboration with powernoise vocalist Speedranch, is abrasive even for Funk, and the synthetic Songs About My Cats has closer ties to Horse And Goat (Sublight, 2004) than to his later melodicism.

In 2002 Funk delivered three albums to Planet Mu -- the showboating breakcore of Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits 1972-2006, the gloomy IDM of Winter in the Belly of a Snake, and the "outtakes" companion 2370894 -- which had the desired effect of attaching the epithet prolific to all mentions of Venetian Snares in the music press. His later Mu releases have continued in a similar vein to these albums, relying on samples and sonorous melodies as a coathanger for Funk's beat programming. By far the most successful has been Rossz Csillag Alatt Született (2005), Funk's inevitable fusion of breakbeats and epic orchestral music, sampling for instance Bartok's String Quartets and (generously) Elgar's Cello Concerto, first movement.

Running askew from his Planet Mu albums are Funk's releases on smaller labels. Foremost among them are Doll Doll Doll (2001) and Find Candace (2003, both on Hymen), a pair of aggressive concept albums using the dark sounds typical of his very early output to skewer the boogerbear of child abduction and murder. Continuing from the Doll albums' stark outlook, Funk's two albums on local Winnipeg label Sublight Records -- the aforementioned Horse And Goat (inspired by artwork by Trevor Brown), and the "science gabber" of Winnipeg is a Frozen Shithole (2005) -- are his most technically accomplished records to date.

On these albums, Funk is able to take his sinister concept as leave to employ not just a specific (and precisely considered) timbral palette, but also a compounded set of rhythmic structures that suit the sadistic bent of these albums; indeed, it is on these albums that Funk's skill as a musician reveals itself. He lays over the already asymmetric time signatures briefer sequences of septets, using that bane of electronic music composition, quantization, to his advantage: instead of carrying the pleasant affect of a swung breakbeat, the drums have an uncanny pulse -- for instance, in "Dollmaker" on Doll Doll Doll, compare the casually brushed figure that begins the piece with the hard break staggering through the middle, a mock-square beat reconstructed from sevenths.

Girlfriend: Hecate (ex-, dated c. 2002)

    Venetian Snares (1998-)
    Last Step (2005-)
    Speed Dealer Moms (2009)
    Poemss (2013-)
    Risk Factors: Vegetarian, Smoking

Official Website:

Selected albums:
Greg Hates Car Culture (1999)
Doll Doll Doll (2001)
Winnipeg is a Frozen Shithole (2005)
Rossz Csillag Alatt Született (2005)
Detrimentalist (2008)

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