Although we're far from the "multiple LPs every year" breakneck pace that was his early years, I'm happy to get a followup even this soon after last year's My Love Is A Bulldozer, where, on the masterpiece title track, he sang things like "My dick feels so hard it could break apart" and "Only you could make my dick feel like this", which, although he was still clearly delighting in the triple juxtaposition between his sweet and sentimental swooning style, the blitz of backing drums, and the absurdly rude lyrical content itself, was, in fact, actually sweet and sentimental.
After My So-Called Life, his previous 2010 giant, it was about the last advancement I could have imagined. That was the album that had the triple threat of the Bizarre of D12 sample: "I fuckin' hate you, take your drawers down and rape you", "Making a lasagna in your punani", and "Here in my heart, no songbirds are singing". But maybe in retrospect it makes sense... he's aggressively taken us to the most depraved and absurd limits of his degenerate mind, and also bluntly dumped all the sadness that accompanies that depth (Sheesh! How can music this kinetic get so genuinely depressing?), so, if he didn't go from there to something substantial and real, there wouldn't be anything left to follow, y'know?
So thank God there is something left to good ol' Aaron, although the question of where he goes from there is really baffling. Apparently he's fallen on some hard times financially so please check out his bandcamp and consider donating a few bucks, he's earned it a dozen times over. The fact that, in this troubling time, he buckles down and drops another entire LP for FREE, as thanks to how far his fans have already gotten him, really speaks to where his real passions lie. I hope he's enabled to keep on making music like this for as long as he can.
Okay but what music is music like this? From the album cover it feels a little like some absurd denpa fever dream version of Sufjan Stevens' Enjoy Your Rabbit but that's almost entirely due to the silhouette animals. Aaron works in a lot of really cool and varied aesthetics but seems to like to stick to the ugly... either the grossness of material humanity, or the grossness of the human soul poured out on pigeon-shitted concrete, or some sort of transcendent grossness of the frozen computer void... I think there's a real opportunity to delve into the gross heart of denpa masturbatory excess, or something? Hey, you knew that heart was in there, didn't you? We all act like it doesn't exist, 'cause that's part of the fun, but at least you must know that there was something gross in there for guys like Aaron to find. All I'm saying is that if there's even one moe sorta sample on this one I'm gonna pee my pants (in a good way). Or I could be entirely off, I was entirely off about the last one, lol.
Venetian Snares - Thank You For Your Consideration
Cool computery sounds right off the bat... sorta Aphex Twinny but more like... blunt? Like more blatant? I love it. And now the beat working its way in... It just can't settle down, oooh and that transition into sudden smoothness, with that low crunchy bass... And now nice raw very acousticy drums, this feels sorta like an overture. This is like "Personality Smersonality" right, like, dismissive? This track has oodles of personality though. Oooh the way those strings are building is so nice. And now that rampaging "wowowowowow" sound lol i love it, and now "yeayeayeayeyaeayeya", I hope you can tell what I'm referring to lol. And that pingponging stuff way up in the register, holy cow this is so cool. It's so unpredictable, I can't handle any aspect of it, let alone any sort of connection. And yet it all works! Sugoi! Sasuga Aaron-sama!! I love how these really acousticy drums are still broken and addictively kinetic but they're just inside the range of actually performable, it really drives home a really "session"y sort of energy the whole track has. Like a "jam" sorta thing. yayeyayeyayyeyeyeyayayehhayayeyeayeyeyeyaah, I'm already addicted. And now this awesome ticking hat at the end? ARE WE GONNA GET TRAP BANGERS TOO? lol. **
2. Koopa Cookies
HEY I KNOW THESE, you give them to Kooper's grandpa in Paper Mario iirc. lol. I love the effect on this simple melody, that extreme wavery echo, feels like "weird-video-game-core". And now a gurgling sorta thing on counterpoint, and now SHEESH okay lots of things happening. The escalation of complexity here is really really addictive, I kinda hope it just keeps growing like this throughout the whole song. Oh no here we got a breakdown at 1:30, a sudden regression, but now the feeling of all that complexity lurking gives it a really palpable tension. And woah cool now it's developing in a new way, again a really resonating and "broke" sound, I love it. omg I love when he has another effect moving on a triplet pattern, what an awesome juxtaposition... It really feels like it could go anywhere from here, or from any location to any other location, lol. Neat. *
3. Baked Circuses Funk
Baked Circuses like Bread and Circuses or something? #bread. bread is my favorite tag for anything ever now btw. Find it on dynasty-scans. This is pretty cool, pretty funky, the sound font reminds me of some stuff on Syro, like, for the noodly synth, but then he has his own brand of rumbling noise too. Ooh and this 8-bit sorta sound is SICK, reminds me kinda of the one they use in Yume Nikki, omg what a good soundtrack that had. This one feels sorta like a continuous jam whereas the previous ones had really progressive arcs (even if those arcs were absolutely crazy) I like the variety of structure like that. Now at 2min we break down into some new form, aspects wandering in and out, a nice thing about structure like this is that it really emphasizes the interplay of these elements, instead of looking at things in terms of progress or development or whatever. Cool cool. Nice jam. Solid and continuous. S
4. Beside The Past By A Lake
Strange mystical sort of title. Reads almost like a Garden Path Sentence if you know about those they're pretty cool. oooh the way the drums came in is sick. We got that OLD SCHOOL breakbeat now the one i feel in my gut anytime anything fast happens, all the way back to when I was a kid watching Powerpuff Girls. OOoooh man the way he drags and shifts stuff is SICK and then this weird truncated melody that feeds into drum riffs, OH and the way it just opened up there a bit is GREAT, this feels so contemplative, despite being like every ball to every wall fast and complex. Ah and now a sort of baroque-esque little melody, Idk what I mean by that exactly. Woah I love the "emptiness" of these cymbals, that really echoey quality. oh sick man at 2:30, I love this sort of breakdown, with this sheer amount of noodly spasming energy, and then the drums coming back in like sheesh. Now we get a big banger version of the previous "verse" to finish it off, I'm so happy he's indulging in this melody and structure, cause it's so good. damn i was gonna say "all this needs is something sweeping and orchestral to finish it" and WOW look at WE HAVE HERE. **
5. Sissy Growl
Hahaha this title, this immediate sort of attack, this is a real "street groove", I have no idea what I mean by that. First vocal sample of the album 5 tracks in! huh neat. I love these wubs man, they're so monstrous, it feels capable of consuming. Awww yes more vocal samples, he's so good with ones like this, pitched up rapping or something, I have no idea what this even coming from. Oh snap man that churning energy is so good, so intense. The sort of piano tone he uses when he brings in the vocal sample is amazing, how do you make a sound like that? Probably some sort of setting I've never heard of before. This is really funky man, I love how he facilitates such an easy headnodding sorta groove in all his songs, he never lets the complexity eradicate that, it all comes here. Lol something about strapping a grenade to your momma? Unsure. Wow those sharp heavy "realistic" drums at the end are something, the way they cut through, good job. S+
6. Sweet and Fruitful
Huh this is interesting, very "spacey"... woah and that really sharp really high pitched glistening tone, this is like ice cave jrpg core. Especially with those choral samples... Ahh but here are my familiar breakbeats... how can a drum machine spazzing out at like 200bpm feel so comforting? It is the magic of the delusion this music imparts to you... I love how he'll shift the drums into being something a bit muddy, WOAH at like 1:35 there was this AWESOME synchronized movement, again at like 1:45, i LOVE stuff like that. I love how these big chords in the background seem to be getting louder and louder, is that even possible or is it some trick in the shifting of their composition? There's so many fetishy little things he throws in... ooh now this closing melody, so cool... *
Ahhh yes this seems like a classic V. Snares title. Iirc in some interview he said he used to go into Wendy's and order burgers and open his shirt and smear them on his chest. Whether or not I made that up I choose to believe it. This is some deranged shiiiit man the way that one tone just goes higher and higher until you can't hear it anymore and it feels like it just went right up past you? Everything is boiling over in this song. "Spread the legs! Spread the cheeks!" lmao. "SUPER GOOD!!" hahahahahaha. Thanks Aaron. Place your bets, is this from an actual workout tape thing or did he get some girl to say that or did he pitch-shift his own voice? All are equally likely and funny. Again despite all this weirdness this is the sorta banger you can comfortably just rock out to a little. "Now you try!", reminds me of the invitation on "Aaron2" lol. I love how the samples finish a bit off beat but her "Hup!" is so perfectly punctuated... it really makes the whole song have a shifting frame of reference feel. And now things are getting even crazier near the end here... Woah the spacing of the beats here near the end is super good! S+
Another cool melody intro with some SERIOUSLY heavy bass. Oooh I love that guitar sorta tone, he does this awesome thing where it's like halfway between midi-instrument patiche and wholehearted embracing of some of the same "corny" aspects of the tone. OOOOOOH SNAP like right here, with this insane classic guitar sample solo... it embraces it's unreality. Damn that was cool I did not think he would go that far damn. Woah hell sheesh it's like any one aspect of the song is on the verge of running wild at any given time. Holy moly... the counterpoint between the guitar and the synth line, it was so brief, so delicate and contemplative, but so frantic in the greater context of the song... And guitar solo hahaha wow this sound so awesome hahaha. *
Huh okay so I started doing stuff like this, like writing dates in this format, cause of his old track "Goodbye9/Hello10" and a few memetic mutations that followed and now he's doing what I ended up doing??? And using it to title this strange drumless scraping soaring ambient track??? Hmmm this is interesting. Judging based on the titles we might, from hereon out, be moving into SADBREAKCORE, perhaps the greatest genre ever, and this is a divisor sort of track? It's genuinely unsettling, good job. Ohhh snap yeah you hear those strings? That's SAD AARON coming about. That's the Sad Aaron warning signal. Clutch something warm to you.
10. Poking Holes
Okay wow this is cool. Nevermind this doesn't seem sad at all this is like a Richard D James sorta banger, the sort of thing that makes things you'd never even heard feel catchy. Like here is like water having a seizure you like that? Of course you do. Ooh the way this is opening up is really sick. Again it all stems from having a really addictive kinetic core from which all the complexity centers around, both rhythmic and melodic and tonal complexity. LIKE WHAT WAS WITH THAT HARSH INTERJECTION around 1:30? That was crazy >D< WOah at 2:10ish, these sudden naked chords, that's so sick. Really feels like falling into a sudden abyss, like something dark catching at your heart and you're almost unaware, almost. Hahahaha oh wow at 3:00, this track has evolved so much... the elements that made up that breakdown were introduced so gradually. And wow okay WOW OKAY you wanna settle down there a bit Aaron? Nah of course you don't keep going keep going even harder. Woah and these rapidfire coconutty drums? I love it... kinda like on "Slow Jamz" ahahaha. This is a jam alright good stuff wow. **
11. Ötvenöt 3
UH OH, umlats are definitely a SAD AARON WARNING SIGN but this doesn't start with any pigeon-talk so we might be safe. Instead we get these sick warbly drums, "heeeyayeee", this is sick. There's something pretty sinister about this one, ooh yeah at 1:10, when everything is going "offline"... we might be heading somewhere dark now... Geez wow the harshness of a lot of these samples is super compelling, especially this mysterious vocal samples... I love how they fill your whole head with buzzing. It's just the perfect amount of harshness. The little progressing melody in the background is so foreboding, and I don't even know why, and that's even more foreboding. Cooool. *
12. Accidents in Skyland 2
This is sorta titled like a video game track and the structure sorta seems to be WOAH THAT WAS THE 808 COWBELL LMAO HAHAHA I GOT YOU. This is awesome, this is just bubbling with energy. I feel like this one would make a good stepchart because there's a continuous streamy energy, it isn't all just broken beats and stuff. I love how dynamic he's being with the panning and such. Ooh and at 1:40... the suspense... ooh... something is emerging... back into space... laseropera... This is sick, this is relentless... Woah at 3:00, this technique... woah... sasuga... I never would have thought of something like that. Real switch-flipping music. And then we get some sort of soft underbelly thing WITH THE 808 COWBELL I HEAR THAT I HEAR THAT. woah the drum pattern here is SUPER COOL. *
13. Thousand Mile Stare
appropriately titled cause these opening sounds make me feel like a helicopter flying overhead. And then turning into something. Like dissolving into drum hits and raining down on you. Does that make sense? And now we're fully immersed into another multifaceted banger like being dropped in a bowlful of hot spaghetti. I don't care how much sense this makes for you it is visceral for me. "Close the eyes"... HMM, is that what he said? Oh THOSE are the eyes. Woah. This is intense. Ah yeah. The thousand mile stare, I see I see. What's that a sample from? It sounds so familiar... Ooh the way it cools down at 2:50 is super compelling... I have such faith that the way he reconstructs this will be intense and unimaginable... Damn man... JUST AS I PREDICTED, this buildup is like being on three rollercoasters at once and a paddleboat for good measure. Woahwhahwiahaaa I can't even begin to explain this or impart the appeal onto you. Hahaha the skidding sort of noise at 4:50 was so clutch. It's little moments like that that make his music so addictive, that form the focal point for your memory. Woah this outro too. Damn. Vaguely sacred, even. **
Final track, here we go... Ooh... again this semi-sacred sort of bell tone and such... I like it a lot. Oh man and then this vocal sample? Feels almost World's End Girlfriend-y? Now THERE would be an insane collaboration woah oh man. I love this though. The way this builds... The contrast between the astral little melodies and those big worldly tones beneath it... it sounds like a music box being supported by a full string choir, and the string choir is all depressed people. Very good very good wow. **
Absurdly consistent and consistently absurd
Hahaha once again I was wrong. Oh well. The pipe dream of denpa-fueled Western breakcore retreats for another feverish night... What we have instead is a glorious return to his most core form. It reminds me a lot of Syro, actually... There's a sense of it playing to his real established strengths, but in a form where he's looking to surpass himself, to further perfect what he'd already defined. It isn't his most experimental album by any stretch, but he's traded his extremes of harshness and ambiance to shore up his core with even more complexity, subtlety, and dynamics of tone.
However, also as a result of this, it's almost too consistent. I had this problem with Syro, too... it's like, in the pursuit of perfecting this form, he's lost some of the most immediately memorable and accessible moments, around which your memory can focalize. Like when I think of my favorite other tracks from him, the moments that always come to mind first are the times where came through with a really surprising sample, or went absolutely all-out with the drums for a bit, or worked in a super distinct melody and just let it ride... so basically, I want more memes from the album, lol. Of course, as I listen to the album more, the more subtle aspects will obviously stand out more, and I'll still be able to form these associations and memories.
But I still can't help but think at times "OK, now bring it all home, just dump something super weird and obnoxious like 'I know your head is the wrong size for your body', or bluntly chilling like 'I remember happiness', something that can crystallize this whole complex rollercoaster of the track thus far into one memetic experience"... not that I have that whole articulate thought at once, lol, it's more just a vague dissatisfaction. And, like Syro, I wonder if it speaks to some dissatisfaction on Aaron's part. Maybe these too were all sort of pursuits towards one idea, instead of a range of ideas to formulate an album around? The circumstances could suggest something like that.
All of that doesn't really matter though. This is still almost an hour of brand new V. Snares music, dripping with those weird choices and gooey samples that only he can do. The drums are fast and complex with that mad scientist depravity. He seems to be having a fun time that only he can really understand. But it is worth you doing your best to try to! And I too will try to uhh... not have a multiple month gap between reviews again... Next is Rodeo I think.