Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer are not frightened of testing an audience’s plasticity while facing long durations, not to mention the relentless battle against the petrification of ears and brains on single acoustic concepts. In a program whose title sounds almost mocking – just try and focus on those “details”, then go back whimpering to your mama – they offer three live sets from 2009/10/13, the total span equalling that of a double CD. For people already acquainted with the tenacious progression of FURT’s dialectics this is not a problem, whereas eventual newcomers are as always welcome to a process of impulsive rehabilitation via multiplex sonic collocation.
Throughout the years Barrett and Obermayer have not lost the willingness to persuade that an extraordinary velocity applied to sources nearly impossible to pin down can yield a natural-sounding unbrokenness; in fact, their performances seem to advocate the purpose of breakneck speed in order to reach the core of any possible meaning. However, that speed – in union with the congenital vividness resulting from thousands of interconnections – should rather be considered as a means for delineating a productive flux within the huge conglomeration of signals.
The system incorporates key dualisms: composition and improvisation, manually triggered samples and hyper-reactive computers. More often than not, the intricacy born from the contiguity of contrastive materials establishes a healthy environment, an articulate volatility dismantling the temporal coordinates of our perceptive development. In a nutshell, the extreme limits of a whimsical rationalization insinuate the presupposition of an oxymoronic stasis.
That these pieces manage to shuffle complication and humor (minus buffoonery) is testament to the duo’s rigorous application of transitory codes, in absence of which the music would probably result as downright bedlam to ill-equipped addressees. Instead, not a minute elapses without the identification of the “internal skeleton” that differentiates a perspicacious improvising unit from someone comfortable with banging, screeching and hollering in the name of some sort of spontaneity. Ultimately, the galvanizing beauty conveyed by FURT’s multi-faceted creations lies in the very democracy maintained by the incalculable organisms that inhabit them.