- Venetian Snares - Mutant Cunt Sniffer
- Biosphere - The Things I tell You
- edIT - More Lazers
- Coldcut - Everything Is Under Control
- Kid 606 - She's=Defective
- Xanopticon -Constant
- Zazen Boys - Himitsu Girl's Top Secret
- Stendeck - Run Amok
- Goddess in the Morning - Flower Crown
- Kashiwa Daisuke - Requiem
- Ryoji Ikeda - Dissonanz
- Cycheouts Ghost - Kingdom of Dreams
- Gocoo - Celebration
- Middle 9 - Island Pull Out
- Worriedaboutsatan - You're in My Thoughts
- Dalek - Asylum
- Teeth of the Sea - Red Soil
- Royksopp - Eple
- Hauschka - No Sleep
- Tunturia - Silence Is Consent
- The Ascent of Everest - As the City Burned
☯☮ ⚖ ☮☯
Aaron Funk created Venetian Snares in 1997 and released six significant recordings between then and the turn of the millenium, four albums and two major singles. He produced music for multiple labels in quick succession in those early years, an EP with the company History of the Future, an album with label CLFST, but his self-released creations greatly outweighed that commercial work. In 2000 Funk inked a deal with Planet Mu, a label that has continued to unite the public with Venetian Snares albums throughout the years since then.
Although Venetian Snares comes out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, that has not hindered the success of the music or international recognition, and indeed VSnares has gained a respect and admiration from music lovers the world over. Funk's skill with the electronic medium spans a wide range of elements. It can be both audacious and introspective at the same time, hard hitting and thoughtful. The song included on this playlist comes from the album Invasion from xXx Dimension and provides a fine introduction to the edgier side of Funk's Venetian Snares.
The electronic ambient genre encompasses a wide array of styles and talent, a field so incredibly vast that more than a dozen sub-genres easily spring to mind. At times categorizing music can create limitations on listener interpretations and create false preconceptions. Such a thing is absolutely impossible when it comes to Biosphere's album Substrata. The music engulfs the audience and snatches words away, sending them back to the setting where they work the best, silence.
The depth and richness of this modern classic thickens to a point that almost feels like solidified emotions, like liquid sensations, but at the same time roils and bubbles away concerns. Ocean waves and oxygen floating up from the depths far out at sea fit well as a natural comparison to this digital experience. The ears that perceive it bob and sway upon the audio swells.
Geir Jenssen explores the peaks and depths of synaptic experience in this work, outdoing his past artistic incarnations in the process. Not every listener will feel blown away or consider Substrata to be a masterpiece, but none could possibly deny that Jennssen shaped and molded the music to the intense intricacies of his own spirit. Substrata was one of the best offerings to reach the public in 1997, and continues to feel ultra-relevant yet timeless to this day.
Edward Ma, member of The Glitch Mob, member of The Variations, created edIT back in 2003. Ma then introduced the world to that appellation in 2004 when he released Crying Over Pros for No Reason. The glitch style of regulated syncopation and arrythmic simultaneity captures the listener's attention and causes every regular beat to come across like treasure scattered just below the surface of the earth, waiting to thrill and enthrall those who bring them to light. The discovery of each new twist and turn in the maze of a single composition brings a sense of freshness and delight. At the same time hard hitting beats and masterfully looped melodies and riffs direct the speakers to grab the audience by the mind and squeeze until every fiber of their being is awake to the experience.
The startling vibrancy of edIT can not easily be forgotten or dismissed; it's difficult to understand why anyone would try. It's possible that some folk could be intimidated by a style of music they do not understand, or that they are frightened by the social and technological advances that made Edward Ma's music possible. Regardless of what detractors might think, and in addition to what fans and admirers feel abut the genre, this music is a sublime taste of pure creative genius.
Matt Black and Jonathan More banded together to form Coldcut way back in 1989, when the concept of a DAW was still in its infancy and creating electronica required hardware and instruments on a grand scale. Black brought his expertise in computer programming to the table, More creative intellect and a desire to enlighten the world, that drive so ever present among educators. For almost a quarter of a century the two men have entertained fans and newcomers alike with music heavily influenced by the underground scene, a scene they expanded and fed in turn.
While Londoners have known and enjoyed Coldcut for decades, the success of the duet has been limited in the United States. They played many international venues after the release of their fifth studio album album and have earned respect the world over. Unfortunately many average Americans may never have heard of them due to the restrictions placed on commercial radio by corporate entities such as Clearwater, in partnership with the profit mongering RIAA. It's a shame, because while the music of Coldcut may not be astounding in its influence and engenuity, it happens to be a pleasure.
Venezuelan born musician Miguel Trost De Pedro, raised on the West Coast and now a denizen of San Francisco, is Kid606. His tracks most often feature the frantic percussive measures common to happy hardcore in combination with sampled lyrics, the style common to post-industrial dance taken to a higher level. De Pedro's carefully crafted album Don't Sweat the Technics brought innovations to the electronic genre that could not be confined to the designation "trance," innovations that easily defined breakcore and the early stirrings of glitch. Kid606 drops music to work to, music to workout to, sound that makes your body move involuntarily and stirs the urge to dance. Or you could just pop it into the car stereo and drive a couple hundred miles an hour down the interstate. Kid606 is also on the Planet Mu label.
Ryan Friedrich, a thirty-two year old from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is more well known as Xanopticon. While Xanopticon's web site summons a lot of dark imagery and sets its sites on a Gothic feel, the music is not industrial nor post-industrial, but just good old glitch from another planet. It's quite an experience, but one thing it also isn't is dance music. Luckily the music speaks for itself, because the web site really fails to do it justice.
On the heels of Friedrich's work, Zazen Boys sounds ordinary and simple, but even transitioning out of a brutal glitch-tech nightmare the group's sound hold's together to punch holes in any notion that math rock is an American thing. Mukai Shutoku, the front man for the band, early on in his career demonstrated a talent for a raw, experimental creative approach. Combined with Hinata Hidekazu on bass and Yoshikane Sou on guitar Shutoko and Zazen Boys enjoyed a warm reception from critics, a love affair with smart rock connoisseurs that never really ended. Everything the group releases meets with critical acclaim, and its easy to understand why. It only takes one listen to appreciate their technical brilliance.
At this point I have to confess that I haven't heard the rest of the playlist. That's going to put a damper on the review process. To be entirely honest I have heard neither Himitsu Girl's Top Secret nor Xanopticon's Liminal Space in their entirety, in case anyone was wondering why the reviews are so short. In addition to that minor detail about actually listening to the albums I'd like to review, something in RL came up, and depending on how my schedule looks it may be a couple of days before anything here gets updated.