“Songs About My Cats” by Venetian Snares – Review

The album title, insouciant yet intriguing, portends a quirky experience, an intuitive hint of the auditory journey that awaits.

“Songs About My Cats,” released in 2001 under the Planet Mu label, offers a peculiar blend of frenetic breakbeats, ambient soundscapes, and a strange yet endearing cat-inspired narrative. However, it’s worth noting that this is not your everyday ‘cat album.’ Instead, it represents an exploration into the depths of Aaron’s distinctive sound design skills, with his cats serving as muses.

The opening track, “Chinaski,” immediately introduces you to a sound pallet that is quintessential to Venetian Snares. Its warp-speed breakbeats and heavily manipulated audio samples serve as a dazzling showcase of Funk’s production prowess. “Look,” another standout track, contains cat samples manipulated to fit into the cacophony, producing an engaging dialogue of synthetic sounds, beats, and purrs.

The artistic choice to incorporate sounds of his own cats, namely Salt and Ephraim, into the music, adds an oddly personal layer to the album. The resulting effect is somewhat akin to an abstract sonic portraiture of his pets, melding the lines between life’s mundane elements and artistic creation. Tracks like “Pouncelciot” are like auditory riddles, challenging listeners to identify the dichotomy between the “natural” and digitally manipulated feline utterances.

Yet, the album is not without its challenges. The erratic tempo changes and sudden shifts from dense breakcore to sparse atmospheres can be off-putting for those unfamiliar with Snares’ peculiar brand of electronic music. The complexity of his sonic architecture sometimes borders on dissonant, which might prove challenging to casual listeners.

The album cover, a simple photograph of his cat, adds a touch of authenticity to the project and also a point of reflection: one can’t help but picture Venetian Snares, huddled in a studio strewn with cables and synthesisers, his cats by his side – the unlikely muse of this breakcore odyssey.

“Songs About My Cats” is a daring exploration into a niche style of music, pushing the boundaries of IDM and breakcore while adding an unexpected personal touch. It’s a testament to the artist’s unique approach to music production and an absolute treat for fans of experimental electronic music. However, its esoteric nature might not cater to everyone’s taste. For those willing to embrace its eccentricities, though, it offers an unforgettable listening experience and a fascinating insight into the idiosyncratic mind of Venetian Snares.

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