Furt: Omnium (2007)
Live in concert, laptopists (is that a word?) can be a rather boring spectacle; it is frequently so difficult to see or understand what they are doing that they might as well be playing pre-recorded music while spending the concert shopping online or checking their email.
Furt is definitely an exception to that generalisation; although it remains almost impossible to know exactly what these two players are doing, they throw themselves into their work in concert, presenting an animated and dramatic spectacle in which they make grand gestures and interact well, often seeming to bat sounds backwards and forwards to and from each other.
Of course, none of that matters when one is listening to this CD; there is no spectacle, only sound. Nonetheless, the energy that they demonstrate live does carry over to their recordings, and their speed of thought and reaction means that their music is constantly in motion, constantly changing as one reacts to the other's reaction to the first and so on, back and forth.
The range of sounds on display here is breathtaking, and the two musicians never seem to fall back on a stock repertoire. The end result can be rather too hyperactive; sometimes one longs for some respite from the ever-changing onslaught of sounds, a chance to catch one's breath, but prolonged drones or ambient sounds are not to be found here.
The music is undoubtedly thrilling, but also overwhelming. Maybe the best advice I can offer the listener is to enjoy this music in bite-size chunks, rather than trying to consume the album whole.
Track Listing: Ever; obliged; yet; us.
Personnel: Richard Barrett: live electronics; Paul Obermayer: live electronics.