Review Summary: A Venetian Snares album that fails to find its niche in his ever variant discography.
After the heights of acidic dissonance that Aaron Funk achieved on 2009's Filth
, it was clear that Funk had reached his limit of skullfu
ckery and that any expansion on the sound would be bloated, even for him. And this is self-evident, as My So-Called Life
is in essence a throwback to his numerous sounds of the past, dabbling in all sorts of breakcore, offensive sampling, and melodramatic arrangements. According to Funk, his new lp was a "a collection of short stories than a novel... diary entries". It's a statement that My So-Called Life
would be devoid of a concrete statement, a release of Venetian Snares pursuing whatever concepts on individual tracks. And while this notion could suggest an incoherent, lazy sounding record, it was the loose mix of acid techno, d'n'b, and nintendo-esque synth programming that made Detrimentalist
such a rewarding listen. And the same could've been said for this new LP if it wasn't so shallow.
Opener "Posers and Camera Phones" is hardly suggestive of the content in My So-Called Life
. Featuring standard Venetian Snares programming mixed with a neo-classical harpsichord loop, it's fun for a while until it gets lost in endless breakcore jamming. The next four tracks plow through ranges of self-parody and genericism, plummeting through frenetic loops and godawful samples all utilized for immature comedic effect(when Aaron Funk resorts to sampling different people saying "retarded", you know he has lost his edge). The second half of the record is recognizably more musical, "Ultraviolent Junglist" in particular aiming at darker tones in the vein of Meathole
. The programming on some of the later tracks are particularly cinematic, but the songs don't match up to the mastery of dynamics and controlling of sound that Funk had mastered on earlier releases.
To be fair, devoted fans of Venetian Snares will find something to love in this record. My So-Called Life
is ultimately the culmination of Aaron Funk's career, except with a decidedly half-assed sound and some tracks poorer than others(the title track being the only song nearly as impressive as any of the material on Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett
). Unfortunately this record pretty much lived up to what expectations there were; if Filth
was his mid-life crisis, this could be considered his acceptance of his insecurities, a recognition of his musical bounds. Of course this isn't the most accurate way of depicting Funk, seeing as the incessant goofy humor on this release reveals that he is pretty content with what he is producing. The songs are inarguably fun and there is quite a fair amount of breakcore madness for listeners to revel in. But it's the particular absence of a sound or conceptual guiding point that makes My So-Called Life
an unimportant addition to Funk's discography that fails to define itself as an individual release. But I'm sure he has no problem with that.