Opprobrium, Nick Cain
As wonderful is his duo with compatriot Cor Fuhler, who, like Prins, has gradually progressed from Bimhuis improv into electronic experimentation. This is a quite befuddling duo (as on Live, Prins utilises electronics, FM modulations and radio; Fuhler employs EMS Synthi AKS, turntables and mbiras), whose interaction is in a constant state of flux, and one whose ideas flow so liberally and create music which is at times so disorientating that it feels as though one is listening to it through some sort of prismic filter. The disc's most rapid rate of change is achieved on 'Fuchsine Rill', a fractally splintering, synapse-addling flood of sound which cross-fertilises Prins's high-speed pitch fractures with Fuhler's sweeping swathes of broadband noise interference in giddily gleeful sonic-overload collages (which develop at a rate comparable to the more frenetic moments on this label's previous Thomas Lehn/Marcus Schmickler duo). The inorganic nature of the sounds and the sheer speed of some of the playing mean that it's often difficult to work out who's doing what, a conundrum complicated by the fact that the two seem ever-ready to swap roles. They wisely don't attempt to maintain such a pace for the entirety of the disc, however, and the remainder of the pieces see Fuhler laying down solid blocks of churning sound-rumble, counterpointing Prins's modulated hiss with fuzzily linked sequences of single sounds, the two brilliantly interweaving outlandish tonal splurges in mutual sound-shredding binges. Wild, and all-round fantastic; I'd recommend ears be applied to any release wearing the names of either of these two, post-haste.
All Music Guide, Brian Olewnick
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, a patina of substances that would stain your fingers, abrade your 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.
Incursion Music Review, Richard Di Santo
Amsterdam residents Cor Fuhler and Gert-Jan Prins are both founding members of MIMEO, an improvisation collective in existence since 1997. Fuhler is probably better know for his work as a pianist; see his solo CD titled 7CC in IO, released in 1994 on Geestgronden. Here he performs on analogue synth (the EMS Synthi KS), which he uses to filter the sounds he conjures from turntables and mbiras (thumb pianos from Zimbabwe). Prins, although he has a background as a drummer, here performs on electronics, FM modulations and radio. Lately Prins has been working within the noise scene, as evidenced in his solo CD, Prins Live, released on Grob last year. Recorded earlier this year, The Flirts presents seven improvisations of varying length. The arrangements are busy and brimming with activity; pulses, crackles, grating sounds, static and hiss are all in constant motion. The sound is neither extra quiet nor extra noisy; it remains in this sort of middle ground, full of short sounds that flutter in and out of the sound field in constant flux. There's a marked physicality in this music; as if the performers are physically tearing out the sounds from their machines. When considering the nature of this music, the title of the CD seems quite apt; this is music that flirts with ideas of constancy and regularity; it teases the listener by being in constant motion and never sitting still. But all these sharp contrasts and abstract textures are a compelling combination with an impressive sound dynamic. Challenging surely, even a little unnerving for its refusal to rest even for a moment, but in this album Fuhler and Prins have created a fabulous beast.