You are floating in space. In fact, you may already be dead. The view is incredible. Heavenly. You can see all the way back to the beginning of time. Beautiful light from distant galaxies and stars that died millions of years ago. But what’s that? A leak in your suit, temperature regulation is malfunctioning. Comms are intermittent. The stark and jagged dichotomy of the joy and calm you feel and the cold chaos of the situation is pulling at your every fiber.
When you finally surrender all hope, you can enjoy the view and reflect on the things you had and will never have. You are alone, never to feel another human’s touch, yet joined with the cosmos, a suspended artifact, the smoldering machine your conjoined twin. Floating. Glitching. For eternity.
No, it’s not the synopsis for a new Kubrick space film. It does however perfectly describe how listening to the latest offering from Daniel Lanois and Aaron Funk (aka Venetian Snares) makes me feel.
It is a beautiful marriage of man vs. machine. Lanois and his pedal steel providing humanity and Venetian Snares devouring it in a lovely and harmonic yin yang.
This is the third release in a trilogy of albums from Lanois, starting with Flesh and Machine. followed by Goodbye to Language. The pedal steel plays a central role in the sonic fabric of each and gives the music a mournful sound like only the steel in the hands of a master can. Like Flesh and Machine, Venetian Snares X Daniel Lanois is very aggressive at times, but instead of painting sound pictures with drums, bass, steel, and voice, the steel is instead paired with full-spectrum machine music.
It is a joyous listen, but not to say an unchallenging one. A massive sound system or headphones is the best way to experience it, but however you choose to engage, you will be rewarded with beautiful melodies, break-neck drum and synth programming and massive sonics. For a deep dive, play all three releases back to back. It’s a fun listening journey and gives contact for each subsequent release.
More detail around the recording of this record can be heard in my interview with Daniel on the Tape Op Podcast.