Published Apr 30, 2018What began as a phone call from Daniel Lanois to Venetian Snares (aka Aaron Funk) in 2014, simply to say that he was a fan, ended up in three jam sessions at Lanois's Toronto studio, more than an album's worth of material, and one of the strangest Canadian collaborations to date.
All the recordings on this album are live off the floor, but it's not nearly as rough as you might think. Granted, Funk's meteoric drum patterns are enough to dizzy even the steadiest individual, but the whole affair comes off like a beautiful, symbiotic relationship. The woozy pedal steel guitar that Lanois wields seems to be puttering away in the background for a while, but eventually you begin to realize that those unassuming melodies are the driving force behind all the tracks. On songs like "Night MXCMPV1 P74" and the majestic rollercoaster of "United P92," you can hear the soft guitar work of Lanois gently guiding Funk's abrasive beats this way and that.
Many will, no doubt, be wondering if this works at all, if you can marry a folkish sound with Funk's mutant brand of IDM, but it does, and you can. The album only sounds odd on paper. The end result is proof that traditional instruments can work incredibly well with electronics, although it might take two legends to pull it off. (Timesig / Planet Mu)