With its meticulously arranged and aggressive rhythmic patterns, Aaron Funk's work as Venetian Snares is occasionally nightmarish, but too lucid to describe as dreamlike. Poemss, however, his new collaboration on Planet Mu with Toronto-based producer Joanne Pollock, feels like the perfect soundtrack to your late-night, closed-eye adventures. The tracks proceed nonlinearly, sometimes meandering and sometimes static. The voices of both Pollock and Funk appear frequently on their self-titled debut record-- wordlessly and ephemerally in some moments, lyrically in others. The record is imbued with the sort of sedate surrealism (and a similiar vocabulary of synth tones) that characterized the second half of Brian Eno's Before and After Science. Album cut "Moviescapes," which you can listen to below, is one of the more conventionally structured tracks. A waltz without a rhythm, it song lurches back and forth woozily, anchored by Joanne's harmonized vocals. We spoke with Pollock over email about the project-- how it came about, the collaborative process, and the effects of making music at night.
Ad Hoc: How did you first become involved in making electronic music?
Joanne Pollock: I first started making electronic music by myself about three years ago. I didn't really know how to go about it at first, but a few of my friends used different kinds of programs, so I checked some of them out. My first songs were just little experiments, mostly using just the preset instruments that came with whatever I was using. Just finding my way around software, making little baby steps. Eventually, I ended up quitting school, which freed up a lot more time for making music. After a while, I bought some recording equipment and that really advanced my songs a lot!
Ad Hoc: How did you come into contact with Aaron Funk and Planet Mu, and how did you decide to collaborate?
JP: I met Aaron originally at one of his shows in Belgium. We were both Canadian so I guess we started speaking because of that. Two Canadians in a foreign land! It was funny, at that show, whenever someone found out I was from Canada, they would assume that I was friends with Aaron already, because we were from the same country. I guess it would be hard for someone from Belguim to appreciate how far Toronto and Winnipeg are from each other! I ended up going to a few more shows he played, we hung out, shared some music, and he invited me to come visit him in Winnipeg. There wasn't ever a conversation like, "We should collaborate!" It was really just that we were both musicians, and he had a studio in his house, and he was showing me around, and he laid something down and then I did, and then we just kept doing that. It was a natural thing, for two musicians to be making music.