the End of the WTJU Marathon: Venetian Snares, Acid Mothers Temple

April 26th, 2009 · 3 Comments · By

The WTJU marathon ends tonight… or should I say, very early tomorrow morning.

Monday 1-3am is my usual weekly time-slot, and I’m doing a show then —  and I had the bright idea of extending the marathon and staying up for another 3 hours so I could do a fourth show. It’s been really fun, although I am kind of gleefully exhausted after a week of WTJU, parties, concerts, drinking on porches, and jumping in the river.

Anyhow:  from 1-3am I’m doing a show about Venetian Snares. His music is legendary in some circles, although he’s hardly a household name; for those who are unfamiliar, it’s the one-man electronic music project of a charmingly abrasive hesher from Winnipeg named Aaron Funk (yes, that’s his real last name). He’s put out just an extraordinary amount of music over the past 10 years, and he’s one of the most forward-thinking, unique and individual artists making electronic music right now. His style is highly distinctive; it’s dense, abrasive, and overwhelmingly complex — think melodically transcendent glitchy gabbercore anthems in 7/4 time signatures.

Unlike a lot of my rock-and-roll peers, and I grew up mostly isolated from / unaware of a lot of the  indie rock singifiers of the 90’s — in my later high school and early college years I mostly listened to a lot of “leftfield” electronic music (or “IDM” if you will… a name nobody likes.) Having spent my teenage years obsessing over the likes of Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, and labels like WARP, Rephlex, and Planet-Mu, I was heartily obsessed with anything complicated and electronic; I was continuously gravitating towards the heavier end of that spectrum, looking for anything abrasive, complicated and distorted.

When I first heard Venetian Snares (for the record, it was the Defluxation / Boarded Up Swan Entrance 7″ in the spring of 2001), it felt exactly like what I had been wanting to hear for a long time. He became the enfent terrible of the international electronic music scene pretty much immediately, which coincided nicely with a huge wave of laptop-based Breakcore musicians across the US, Europe and Eastern Asia, all making really exciting and worthwhile stuff — but somehow Venetian Snares has remained pretty much better than absolutely everyone else, and he’s extremely prolific as well.  So I’ll be trying to fit all my favorite VSnares tracks into a 2hour show tonight; I’m pretty excited about it, and I hope some of you can tune in and hopefully enjoy it.

If you want a nice little taste of which his music sounds like, here’s a brief clip:

… and after that I’m doing an Acid Mothers Temple show from 3 until 6am.  I’m assuming most of my readers are probably more familiar with them, at least by name , but for those of you who aren’t, they’re a similarly prolific Japanese psychedelic band who’ve been putting out an unbelievable amount of records under than name (and various others) since 1997. They’re a collective, loosely based around guitarist Kowabata Makato (although there are several other folks who appear in the band regularly, including Higashi Hiroshi, Tsuyama Atsushi, and Cotton Casino).

They’ve basically taken everything awesome about far-out 70’s spacerock and prog and psych and whatever else, and magnified it many times over into an insane psychedelic soup of awesomeness. Some of their records are really minimal and pretty and transcendent (like “Zap Your Mind!” or their cover of Terry Riley’s “In C”), some of them are just filled to the brim with kick-ass Hawkwind-style guiter riffs (“Just Another Band from the Cosmic Inferno”), some of them are slow and doom-y and deliciously Sabbath-y (“Univers Zen ou de zéro à zéro“), some of them of just balls-out Keiji Heino-esque noise-improv workouts (“Electric Heavyland”), some of them have a Zappa-esque bad-trip mayhem quality (“St. Captain Freak-Out” or the s/t album), and some of them are just really dreamy and lovely (all 5 or 6 different versions of “Pink Lady Lemonade”).

But one of the great things about them is that if you like any of their albums, it’s a pretty safe bet you’ll like most of them — and there’s a LOT of them. I’ve been lucky enough to see them twice (excellent, both times) and I can safely say that they represent the majority of what I enjoy about heavy rock music. So three hours should be enough time to scratch the surface, I think. All their songs are like 20 minutes long, too, so I’m going to have to choose them carefully or risk running out of time for the good stuff.

Tune in if you’re gonna be awake! Or tape it if you won’t be awake!  And call in to say hi and pledge some money towards the station, if you like what you hear.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jon Bray // Apr 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    “i gots like 2000 dollars on me right now. you get me some strippers, and you can have dat shit right now strait up”

  • 2 James // Apr 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    You were alarmingly convincing.

  • 3 sk // Apr 29, 2009 at 11:04 am

    i missed it! anyway to get a copy of your show?