Venetian Snares, XOYO

In 1918, Edward Elgar underwent a highly dangerous operation for a 61-year old man in those times – the removal of an infected tonsil. Recovering consciousness after sedation, he asked for a paper and pencil, and composed the melody that would be the first theme for his Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85.

He conducted a disastrous premiere for the concerto on October 27, 1919. By then unwell and out of fashion, he was slighted by composer Albert Coates, who overran his rehearsal into Elgar’s slot. Lady Elgar, his wife, later wrote: “[That]...selfish ill-mannered bounder ... that brute Coates went on rehearsing.”

At XOYO last month Venetian Snares’ rendition of that ward-composed cello theme was just as fraught, but for better reasons. The crowd were not seated, but moved like grey rapids in the Shoreditch venue; the elegiac theme was not evolved by an orchestra, but interrupted by grated snare drums and a honky tonk piano; the piece was not an instrumental, but accompanied by an extreme vocal sample that would have had Elgar kicked out of the orchestra pit and into the Regents’ Park nick.

Venetian Snares is a prolific electronica artist from Winnipeg who has pioneered the genre of breakcore. His defining work, Rossz csillag alatt született [Hungarian for Born Under a Bad Star] combines jungle percussion and extended sampling of Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Bartók. In it he creates an acrid transcendence into beauty and melancholia through the juxtaposition of extreme orchestral splices and frenetic drum patterns.

This combination is not new, as a contemporary review pointed out, having been used by Aphex Twin in 1995, yet his un-ironic, disturbing take is indeed unique. His extreme emotive intent is perhaps underlined by his use of one Hungarian pianist and composer [Rezs? Seress] whose music, rumour has it, drove 17 people to suicide.

The crowd at XOYO were a slightly older lot than the classic electronica punters, some perhaps students at Mayfair’s ad hoc Temporary School of Thought – or at least the northern Portuguese couple who were smoking a chillum in the outdoor area were.

He assembled a packed house for the show, unusual for a Wednesday night – and his latest album [My So-Called Life] was showcased in full during his set. CCUK, about CCTV, samples female reggae vocals ‘You forget about your liberty’ meshed with a trenchant Chris Morris-style sample ‘We need to be watched by more sophisticated and better cameras’.

Soon after came the disorientating gabba-manic drums underlain by organ tissue-texture synths and dream washes which echo the sound of his Cavalcade of Glee...album, followed by a Marcellus Wallace Pulp Fiction-sampling track Cadaverous.

In Eliot Britton’s excellent analysis of Szerencsétlen, one of Venetian Snares’ tunes, he makes the point that jazz, and elements of classical, were originally dismissed as ‘dance music’. “The climb from a popular musical style to acceptance as an elevated form of artistic expression is steep” he notes. One of Venetian Snares’ closest peers was added to the bill at the Sacrum Profanum modern classical music festival recently – times are changing. Perhaps we can hope for more cohesion between these worlds soon.

Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?