...this is not polite music! It’s intensely physical, constantly reminding us of the nature of sound as human, even though it’s all electronically manipulated, the human element is still central, albeit in a highly dramatised, uncontextualised way...this reinvents music as it proceeds - so much that when you hear ‘normal’ piano notes or saxophone notes it’s almost shocking that there are such things. fORCH completely turn musical language on its head...a valuable experience which has taught you something about music and about humanity. Probably the best improv disc of 2007.
No regular brain can pretend to be able to absorb the thousands of rapid changes of scenery that this incredible piece presents in over 77 minutes at a first try. OMNIVM...is a four-part acousmatic wonder by the duo of Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer, who have created a “composite” of two live performances to give birth to this beguiling million-headed monster... The unbelievably quick yet totally intelligible hypermutation of the sources gives the music a head-spinning quality... an alternative conception of music that probably belongs to those not afraid to radically change their listening perspectives when necessary. Although there is not a single peaceful moment throughout the album, every percussive eruption, warped voice or instrumental alteration seems to be placed right where it’s needed... I can’t remember a more interesting recent release in this genre... Amazing.
FURT’s music keeps on getting better. Two years after their first release on Evan Parker’s Psi label (and their fourth album overall) comes OMNIVM, a truly stunning performance... The relation between FURT and Xenakis is easy to establish: the master’s electronic music featured the same kind of frenzy and brutality...they race onward, jerk around, and assault you with heaps of sound... It remains an exhausting listening experience.
FURT’s music has never been for the faint-hearted... This shapeshifting assemblage creates its own inner logic...presenting very few reference points with the other laptop projects populating the experimental faction of electronica. Usually, when such a point of saturation is reached, artists opt for harsh noise, systematical deconstruction or glitchy textures. With FURT, speed and density never devolve into such options. Barrett and Obermayer are able to sustain the pace, ideas flying so quickly it feels like listening to fast-forwarded, acousmatic music... Exhausting, but highly rewarding and unique.
10 February 2005
...one of the most blisteringly energetic and experimental partnerships over the past 20 years.
FURT admire density. Their samplers behave like busy hives, communally sucking in, chewing, swallowing, then regurgitating in a persistent shower of sound. Much of the matter is generated by old-fashioned acoustic instruments, granulated into a fresh existence. Wood, metal, plastic. These might be the materials. Or not. ... FURT’s fast attack is maintained throughout, dynamic in the extreme. They are terminally hyperactive... Barrett and Obermayer sustain an intense atmosphere of busy resourcefulness, filling their long developments with an impressively contrasting range of sound. Their experimentation never loses its vital lust for visceral thrills. FURT’s only fear is the silence, used so sparingly on this disc.
Malfatti...would hate FURT’s music, describing it no doubt as “gabby”, which would be the understatement of the year, this stuff is so action-packed it’s curiously slow moving at times... the sheer variety of material sampled and mangled, a veritable treasure trove of stock new music sounds including hysterical Berberianesque sopranos, rough, farty trombones (shades of Paul Rutherford), springy and splattery Barry Guy-like double bass, and all manner of swoops, glitches, crunches, splats, rasps, boings, crackles, wheezes, scratches, plonks, bumps, beeps, screeches, rumbles, growls, thuds, squeaks, groans, gurgles, pips, thwacks, plunks, whacks, buzzes and toots... mighty impressive stuff.
... mice and sad fantasy are two relativistic journeys through extreme unease and syntactical dismemberment... Miraculously variegated and brain-stimulating, FURT’s music doesn’t follow any protocol; instead, it jumps right out of its corner with bunches of ubiquitous incidents, leading to labyrinths of incognoscibility and displacement. dead or alive is a magnifying glass over a whole world of undefined microanxieties.
The variety of material, and the variation of mood, texture, dynamics, density, and allusion, all speak to FURT’s mastery of the genre and the duo’s highly fertile imagination.
Formed in 1986, electronics duo FURT are Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer. defekt’s cover art quotations from Bertrand Russell and Edward Bond (there’s an unlikely coupling) convey a paradoxical mood of desperate hope, clutching at straws to survive intact. The music too is remote from frivolity. Electronics are used neither as diversion nor effect but to soberly treat and transform sound materials, to voice solidarity with ghosts of the restless and disappointed. FURT’s music is itself tense with unrest. Marking the 60th birthday of German composer Konrad Boehmer, Plint takes brittle matter from an improvised piano duet and compiles and extends it into agitated skeins of scurry and quest. Gute Nacht hurls echoes of Schubert’s doomladen Winterreise into a scramble of frenzied sound fragments, gloriously gloomy yearning for transcendence weighted with inarticulate scree. Volksmusik, on the other hand, is an eloquent flaying of Austrian right-winger Jörg Haider and his fascist FPÖ. Its chilling tell-tale assemblage discloses and demolishes its target’s rhetoric and aspirations as effectively as a John Heartfield photomontage. This music was initially presented in Vienna in 2000. The bulk of the CD is given over to ULTIMATUM, a 45-minute essay in electronic phraseology dedicated to Karlheinz Stockhausen. Barrett admires Stockhausen for his persistent mid-20th century reinvention of music’s terms and tropes. There’s irony, if not equivocation, in FURT’s re-sounding within their own extended and uniquely evolved form of that post-war inventiveness, with its accumulated freight of historical signification. Then again, a cosy homage would not be true to FURT.