FORCH – Spin Networks


Here’s my friendly advice for the wretched ones who look for big doors, black holes, celestial harmonies and pearly gates of heaven: stand well clear off “Spin networks” or you could be in for a heart attack. The quantity of sonic information that this 2-CD set contains is inhuman but, needless to say, it’s just what the doctor orders for brains able to perform three or four tasks at once, because the uncontrollable fragmentation of these pieces is a multi-vitamin injection for increasing the capacity of instant reaction to an impulse. Yet, I wonder, how many braves can afford to be affected by this work without running to their favourite Tibetan bowl scraper after thirty seconds? Very few, one surmises. Forch is the sum of Furt (Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer on electronics) and six monstrous improvisers (John Butcher, Rhodri Davies, Paul Lovens, Phil Minton, Wolfgang Mitterer and Ute Wassermann). The gathering of these living wires occurred for the first time in 2005 at the NEWJazz Meeting of the South West German Radio. Later on, Barrett and Obermayer started labouring on a basis of ten hours of recorded music (live and in the studio) to build a cerebral millefeuille with multitudes of layers, each one of the participants’ evident attributes scientifically mutilated, with particular attention to Minton and Wassermann’s vocal utterances that – in real time or heavily altered, pitch transposed, somehow processed – constitute the fulcrum around which most of the creative process rotates. The successive phase, namely the diverse combinations of improvisation and rearrangement of the subsequent results are better explained by Barrett in the liners; summarizing would be pointless. I’ll leave to the most audacious among the readers the weird pleasure of discovering a reality that’s light years different from what those hoggish jacks of all trades and master of none show as “the Truth”, camouflaging an utter ignorance under sampled choirs, soft caresses of Korg presets, thick fudges of reverberating nothingness. In Forch’s music, samples strain nerves, pianos pinch and sting, voices appear as fiendish burps and purulent screams until they sound like drunk seagulls, saxophones encourage the imbalance of the senses, percussion is everywhere. Here you can’t lay that fat boy scout ass on the couch while pretending to get illuminated by a holy loop set in action by a musical retard. Put this stuff in your car stereo, an accident will happen within two minutes unless you’re gifted with a serious data-retaining system. Play loud, using speakers to be hated, headphones to keep hating. It’s gonna take a few more pills and the customary dose of imbecility to see those doors, holes and gates, and the third eye is blind. But thoughts are clouds, aren’t they?


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