In Review : Throwing Shade
A "Top Album" credit with 4.3 out of 5 rating @ The Even Ground
It has been about two years since Oscar L Finch aka Venn Diagram has released any music. Morphology 1.0 and The Desolate Sound of Extinction both of which were released in 2013 showed us an electronic artist whose unique sonic soundscapes and textural labyrinths sizzled with ingenuity and innovative production.
His latest entitled Throwing Shade is arguably his best work yet. Throwing Shade, which was composed mostly on hardware synths came to fruition with organic improvisation rather than calculated algorithms. After some trial and error the songs were refined into the finished products, which he presents us with.
Throwing Shade refuses to settle in a particular sub genre of electronic composition. Finch will crossbreed between subgenres such as glitch, techno, jungle and experimental to name a few.
Similar to his previous album the attention to detail is what makes his music so engaging. It’s certified headphone music that evolves, changes and mutates before your ears. Take for instance the opener “Future Imperfect - Future Imperfect (featuring the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin).” This song may be the highlight, which has an atmospheric, slightly ominous vibe which is thematic (thematic enough where I felt there was an LA noir vibe).
It feels as if the music is sitting in a cloud while coming in at all directions. His use of panning and reverb is paramount to the experience. “Future Imperfect - Future Imperfect (featuring the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin)”may be the most original sounding song that I have heard from Finch.
There is a lot more to appreciate on this album and you can start with the second track “Ascendant.” This track comes out of the clouds and serves up a more palpable beat. That being said atmosphere is still an essential component, which takes the form of what sounds like a radio transmission or sparse piano.
“Dragonfly” has a dark vibe not too far away from something you might hear from Boards of Canada or even Burial. Although “Dragonfly” contains more shades of the sub genre glitch than I usually hear from the aforementioned artists. As the album progresses there weren’t any duds but there are a couple of tracks that stuck out. I particularly enjoyed “Butt Foltsum” which kept reminding of what it would sound like if a robot were reworking his motherboard. “Jitter” was another standout track. The slightly delayed synths combined sub harmonic frequencies and oscillating pads can be hypnotic.
Throwing Shade is another exceptional album but the artist still dwells in relative obscurity compared to like-minded artists such as Autechre, Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. Hopefully, with the release of Throwing Shade Venn Diagram will receive more praise and attention because he certainly deserves it.