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Furt is the electronics duo of Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer, a team who creates music straddling the boundaries of the contemporary electro-acoustic scene and free improvisation. In a piece dedicated to composer Konrad Boehmer, they electronically process piano improvisations, stretching and altering them until they indeed sound like cousins of that composer's work while also recalling the music of Gottfried Michael Koenig. "Gute Nacht" mixes and matches several Schubert songs, but achieves no greater sampledelic interest than any number of such exercises over the prior two decades. "Volksmusik" treads similar ground except with a derisive eye toward the incipient right-wing Austrian government. The duo uses militaristic songs, maniacal speeches, and even Charlie Chaplin to construct a fairly powerful, if abstract, denunciation of this political trend. The bulk of the disc is taken up by the 45-minute "Ultimatum," another work that harkens to Koenig and Boehmer (although it is dedicated to Stockhausen). The sounds are, oddly, perhaps intentionally, reminiscent of the sort of magnetic-tape experiments that dominated this area during the '60s. This retro aspect has its appeal (the sounds themselves are rather attractive), but, aside from increased technical facility, the listener wonders how much of a conceptual advance has been achieved. Overall, Defekt is a solid enough effort, but some listeners may prefer the original inspirational sources.

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