Cor Fuhler

The Flirts

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Cor Fuhler and Gert-Jan Prins create rude, dirty electro-acoustic improvised music. The sounds heard herein are rarely pristine or pure; they carry smudges, burs, and a patina of substances that would stain one's fingers and abrade one's nails. Yet there is also a grace and lightness of foot, allowing the pieces to describe a dance over and between the grime, enabling a thrilling and evocative set of music. The titles of the improvisations and the disc's packaging, combining floral terms and motifs with ones derived from circuitry and electronic imaging, go a good distance in suggesting the kind of territory this duo navigates. Most of the cuts have a low-end rumble of one type or another; here some subsonic FM frequencies, there an electronically altered mbira plucked by unseen giants. Above and through this sound base slide volleys of liquid, slithering tones, found radio extracts, bursts of static, and sputters of undefinable noise. What's most impressive is that, given the extremely abstract nature of most of the material, there is virtually always a driving impetus, a robust, forward-leaning thrust to the improvisations that provides an irresistible sense of drama. Indeed, one could imagine this music serving superbly as a soundtrack to an especially dark film by some future Tarkovsky. Though Fuhler and Prins wield separate and distinct instruments, it's generally impossible to say who's doing what at a particular moment, which is one of the points of this genre. For all of the primal force of the music, there is little if any overt ego involved; each musician's contribution is subsumed within the overarching structure of the improvisation. The Flirts is a superb example of the rougher edge of electro-acoustic improv at the beginning of the 21st century and is very highly recommended for adventurous listeners.

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