Title: Doll Doll Doll
Artist: Venetian Snares
Label: Hymen Records
Catalog #: (¥033) “12 vinyl (with stamps on cover)
Or ¥716 CD
Released in September 2001. The cover art is by Trevor Brown who displays some of his work on this web site. http://www.pileup.com/babyart/
1. Pygmalion (6:53)
2. Remi (6:24)
3. I rent the ocean (5:55)
4. Dollmaker (5:47)
5. Befriend a childkiller (8:39)
6. Pressure torture (7:48)
7. Macerate and petrify (6:03)
8. All the children are dead (9:07)
Total length: 55:44
The music label Hymen records has the motto “technoid noises for collapsing people”. Venetian Snares’ real name is Aaron Funk. He is a Canadian who liked to record the sounds of various impacts between objects as a child and then play them on multiple cassette players in different order. He has the most imaginative style of drum sequencing I have ever heard and must have been pretty happy when digital audio equipment became available. He is relatively well known amongst listeners of experimental electronic music makers such as Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Bogdan Raczynski and µ-ziq. Venetian Snares' style is very dark, even abysmally so, with fast, intricate percussion which some might like to call intelligent dance music.
1. Wavering synths give way to a steady solid beat which is emphasized by eerie (“something approaches”) high pitched notes. A crescendo is reached, the tempo shifts and the whole structure of the track is revealed. Finally erratic piano playing, which sounds ill at home amongst the complex layered percussion, ends it.
2. Almost seamlessly Remi starts. Pygmalion had gradually slowed down to allow some woman’s humming to echo. As she quiets down a drum beat starts modestly. Before you know it a trumpet blows and you hear passing cars in stereo. The first intelligible words may be heard, some man says “...little girl...” shortly. From there the drums become much more aggressive, fitting for badly lit basement clubs or the locked rooms of angry, rebelling individuals. The drums slow down and a voice echoes “You’re dead” repeatedly over which the sample of a woman saying “I love you” is spliced. By now, IMHO, the song has become boring...it’s throes of death are stuttering percussion and the sample of a child crying.
3. I rent the ocean is one of the album's best moments. I can’t really decide between it, Dollmaker or Befreind a childkiller. It start’s exactly where Remi left off in an ambient echoing nothing. You hear hushed moaning, violins playing backwards and the percussion picking up momentum. The percussion is hi-hat and cymbal focused with just background bass drum. Something that sounds like a church choir singing in latin begins it’s tender song acompanied by a trailing piano and a wailing trumpet. There after a woman sings “.....if only yesterday...” in a soft feminine voice which is repeated a few times.
4. Dollmaker is the most aggressive song by far, it probably has a couple of hundred beats per minute. Broadly stroked violins and jazz style drum percussion reach a climax which morphs into a scream. Some unknown MC informs us that “when I cut your neck, leave little pieces of skin so the head won’t follow (or fall off)”. It all gets a little frantic for a while and the fades out to a woman saying “Please leave a brief message regarding any information you may have regarding the investigation (…) also, if your're comfortable, please, leave your name and telephone number. (…) Thank you very much for calling.” Maybe it’s from a police answering machine, who knows….
5. Befriend a childkiller, just over eight and a half minutes, starts with gentle strings and soothing melodic synths. Think of Boards of Canada really depressed. There is a certain sense of gloom. We are being spoken to by a slow pitch voice: “In what way may I touch the chosen soul. (* something unintelligible)” *louder* “We be friends with child killer”, *interval* “Spirits of poison” and then a pause “Howling spirits.” Pause again “Human spirit that walks. - Spirit creature not wearing the sheep of a man.”
....something like H.P. Lovecraft writes about. By now a few minutes have passed and the complex, aggressive percussion Snares is known for starts with piercing synths for punctuation.
6. Pressure Torture is probably the most aptly named track. I do not enjoy listening to it for it is quite literally an aural torture of distorted frenzied beat sounding samples. In the middle there is a long sampled scene taken from the movie The Cell starring Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn.
7. Macerate and Petrify doesn’t grab me either. It has no real sense of direction but keeps with the atmosphere of a darkly theme. Its drum sequence is very sporadic with intervals in between of ambient calm or a menacingly spoken samples.
8. All the children are dead is just over nine minutes, it has a long and slow prelude to it. It is narrated by a psychotic man who talks of murdered children, monsters, cylindrical rooms, mutilated carcasses and other repulsive stuff.
This is definitely not music for everyone. Its genius lies in the consistently themed atmosphere and the dynamic and combined use of various features in today’s advanced electronic music equipment. Judge for yourselves.