Review Summary: Welcome to the one of the darkest albums I have ever heard.
My knowledge of Intelligent Dance Music (abbreviated IDM) is a bit scarce. The three major bands that I know are Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Venetian Snares. Each have their style of IDM, yet, only one can claim the title for building an album around the murder of children and that would be Venetian Snares (also known as Aaron Funk). Their album Doll Doll Doll
is a haunting, demonic breakcore album. It is a horror movie soundtrack, practically, the only problem they have not made a movie that could sum up to the intensity levels on this record.
The album begins with a stark track named “Pygmalion.” A song that is frantic at times carries a pulsating bouncing beat that sets the tone for the rest of the album. It contains many elements Funk uses in the album such as slow wading noises and the array of artificial beats. Yet, it is stripped down as compared to the rest of the album that slowly begins to pick up in intricacy and complexity. Regardless it still has an identity that is special in its own sense as far as different beats, whether they are soothing or energetic. Most of the noises he incorporates crescendo and builds up repetitively until more layers are added or echo quietly behind the next phrase. It builds up for a granddaddy of a song.
A while back, I heard the song, “Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix),” by Aphex Twin and I thought that was one of the most sinister songs ever recorded. Venetian Snares literally mutilated that notion with the song “Dollmaker.” A song starts with an actual drum set rather than artificial beats; it is also backed by a grinding cello and subtle piano. It builds intensity with a sound like a whistler pot about to boil and the artificial beats chime in and then, 'I’LL FU
CKING MURDER YOU YOUNG STYLE LIKE JONBENET RAMSEY' is uttered as it explodes. From that point, the creepiness just exponentially increases with killer-like lyrical excerpts, (…when I’ll cut your neck leave a little piece of skin so the head won’t fall off…) and loud thrashing beats. After times end, it stands out as the pinnacle of the album.
“Pressure Cooker” also follows suit with similar vicious beats, but pulls it off in a more brittle and frenzied manner. Halfway through it features an altered hypnotizing horn line that is followed by more disturbing sound clips. While the horns may not be hypnotizing, Aaron Funk puts a little jazz improvising (horns, saxophone, and piano) in the song “I Rent the Ocean.” It occurs midway though when a harmonic vocal portion turns into a trumpet and saxophone. It fittingly adds to the fast and pleasant sounding beats. On the contrary, the album can act calm and aggressive in the same instance. “Befriend a Childkiller” starts out rather silent until an ominous voice drifts back and forth and finally the atmosphere is in a controlled chaotic state. In addition, “Macerate and Petrify” begins mellow with different unique sounds and a very low volume beat as it climaxes to organized disorder and caps off the album. Aaron Funk left a notable impression for my first Venetian Snares album. It is a beautifully complex and haunting record. Overall, there is little chance you will actually have nightmares about this album (okay maybe the album cover might come up once or twice at night), but it is an intense piece of music, and yeah, it is a little sadistic.