The composition’s organisation is masterful, but it’s the improve sensitivities of its interpreters – vivid characters, all – that brings it so energetically to life... This is focused music-making, not a montage of extended-technique sonics, and it channels the same energy as most compelling acoustic improv. I can’t think of another recording in which the input and effects of electronic and acoustic musicians are on quite such an equal footing.
...together they bring both compositional and improvisational strategies, as well as influences from musique concrète and sound sampling, to their performances on various electronic instruments. Their music is mesmerizing, exhilarating, and truly ear-opening.
Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer have developed over the years a matchless modus operandi...where anything can become a focal point given the right circumstance. These factors are surprising, in that there’s no time to actually get used to whatever materializes for a fraction of a second; nevertheless, the overall result is often deeply thrilling... The off-center fragment of a skimpy waltz, firstly appearing after a few minutes, is transformed in a breathtaking moment of enlightenment in the final movement, its core melody glowing underwater in a Close Encounters like revelation which is testimony to FURT’s utter humanity... transports a conscientious listener pretty near to the neighborhood where Roland Kayn’s cybernetic masterworks reside. Perhaps Barrett and Obermayer’s creations do not symbolize an equivalent immensity, but the profoundness underlying the sonic montages is exactly the same.
No threnody in the regular sense, curtains instead sprawls across the soundfield as thin strident timbre are overlaid with low mewling pulses, as angular sonic palindromes display resemblances to whistling BB gun shots and backwards-running tapes. Mixed in are faint suggestion of pre-recorded liturgical music plus samples of funereal drum beats and piano chording. By the finale, as machine-like jagged textures wave and resonate, a super-quick cartoon-like melody alternates with triggered stop-start pulses and ring-modulator peals until a descending, echoing piano arpeggio connects with a ghostly melancholy cry... Wooden sounding plinks and watery pulses share space with discordant episodes of rapidly rotating mechanized chirps, mallet-driven vibes-like textures and near-bestial growls... FURT expands the number of paths open to committed electro-acoustic experimenters.
...the duo generates a vivid and somewhat existential trek into boundless regions of sound...the program is fortified with crystalline audio, where these sound-shaping endeavors shine forth with prismatic hues and transverse angles...semi-structured and improvised elements amid microtonal blips, quirky treatments and witty configurations...digitally manipulated voices, jangling percussion simulations, and sizzling electronics forays that interweave and dissect...the duo executes a confederation of bizarre contrasts...oscillating and liquefying sound-sculpting manoeuvres to complement notions of a social breakdown...daunting vistas with ethereal jaunts into a cosmic void... Indeed, it’s electronic music underscored with a sense of purpose...
FURT’s electronics are simultaneously playful in an almost childlike sense and mind-fuckingly cerebral...suddenly we are traversing a disconcerting soundscape, a sonic mindfield of minor sound/glitch events and fractured voice samples... You must listen for yourselves.
The overall effect is like watching a rotating kaleidoscope; there is too much to assimilate and no second chances. Ultimately, immersion, surrender and enjoyment are the only realistic options.
Valuing dexterity and amazement over pitch and harmony, electronics pioneers Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer sprint through a cache of blips, mangled voices, imploded acoustics and sampled/re-sampled anomalies with immortal speed... These virtuosic mages are unparalleled in their collective ability to stitch, tear down, rip, defragment, poke and circumvent your expectations... A complicated mix of fascination, cleverness, humor, a seamless personality, a deft juggling act...sense reaches a peak...
FURT, the unsung heroes of modern experimental electronic music, unparalled sampling artists, dizzying maximalists...calling in a plethora of unrelated sounds that are arranged into a relentless, stunning aural kaleidoscope whose internal logic becomes palpable only once you achieve a certain state of hypnosis... FURT are redefining virtuosity for the digital age...intense, unpredictable, and simply crazy... Brilliant.
...this is most definitely uncomfortable music, direct, sometimes even ugly, at the same time as being intellectually gripping...there’s a constant feel of overload, often with three or more directions going at once, always changing, never stopping. Do you pick one track to follow or try and follow all of them at once and risk becoming lost, without a direction to lead you through the dense unfolding textures? It’s a similar dilemma to that faced by us all in Western societies today. The twenty-first century is an age of greater complexity than ever before; a technological world; a world in which information comes at us from every quarter, only fragments of which can be taken in. Obliquely, FURT’s music seems to try and formulate an answer to the question of how art should respond to these challenges, these changing conditions. This is perhaps dealt with even more explicitly on equals than on spin networks, and, as such, it’s more forbidding, but perhaps even more thought-provoking. I mean it when I say that this is some of the very best music being created today.