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Faust - The Wumme Years 1970-73 (2000) (HDCD)

Faust - The Wumme Years 1970-73 (2000) (HDCD)
Rock | 5cd | EAC Rip | Flac + Cue + Log | covers
ReR FB01 | rel: 2000 | 1600Mb

The members of Faust are the jokers in the Krautrock pack -- jokers because they never formed with any serious intentions, and jokers, too, because whatever preconceptions you might have in approaching that most disreputable-sounding of sonic genres, Faust is guaranteed to explode them. Julian Cope, author of the music's most lasting textbook (1995's Krautrocksampler), steadfastly describes Faust as the most mythical of all the bands forced to the surface by the cultural earthquakes of late-'60s Germany -- and that's mythical in every sense of the word.
There are, after all, more apocryphal tales surrounding Faust than any band you can name, with the most apocryphal of them all being that most of the tales are true. And nowhere are those mind games more apparent than in an evening spent embedded in their entire early ouvre. The Wumme Years: 1970-73, titled for the studio where the band created much of its magic, documents an output that simply defies belief. Throughout the period under consideration, the band recorded two albums, but created sufficient material for three more -- with the first of them funded by a major record label that not only didn't know what would be delivered at the end, but wasn't even sure that the players were really musicians. The entire thing was set up by a German journalist, who wondered what would happen if a bunch of untried avant-garde instrumentalists were given free rein in the studio for as long as they wanted. Polydor, to its everlasting credit, shared his curiosity. That the Faust and So Far albums (completely unadorned, the first two discs in this package) emerged as both critical and cult successes during 1971 and 1972 was, then, as much a triumph for performance art as it was for the art of performance. The band's cut-up techniques -- slicing riffs and dicing rhythms, then binding all the bits together by repeating and reworking the odd catchy sequence -- predicted virtually everything the Residents have ever done (unknowingly, of course); Faust, in particular, sounded like nothing else on earth, and one can only imagine today what the response was back then. The modern age, after all, has made acceptable pop from the most unacceptable noises. The early '70s were neither so forgiving nor so open-minded, and an album (Faust) that rode in on a roar of barely tolerable fuzz, while a radio played snatches of the Beatles and the Stones, invited neither quality. But it received them and, though Polydor dropped the band after the second album, Virgin promptly stepped into the void with the budget-priced release of The Faust Tapes -- essentially, a collection of the already wickedly spliced outtakes from the earlier albums, hacked into even more convoluted snatches. The longest piece is under four minutes, the shortest is just 25 seconds, but it says much for the impact that The Faust Tapes still enjoys that, among The Wumme Years proudest selling points, a track listing for this album is included as one of the greatest. The joke is on the completist collector -- most of the tracks are titled "Untitled." In 1973 Faust toured the U.K., and made an immediate beeline for BBC Radio's John Peel, who aired a session in early March. The three tracks, highlighted by the 12-minute "Kraut Rock" (which is essentially anything but), open the fifth disc in the box, which itself is otherwise concerned with continuing the outtakes saga launched on Faust Tapes and continued across disc four (71 Minutes). A handful of these have been released in the past, chiefly during the 1980s, when they were spread across the Munich and Elsewhere, Last LP and Faust Party Three albums and EPs; this, however, marks their first appearance in anything approaching a cohesive whole, reconstructed not only in the fashion that the band originally envisioned them, but also completely remastered. Not all of these latter two discs can be called essential listening -- like the early Mothers of Invention, the only even quasi-mainstream act with whom Faust could ever be reasonably compared, one gets the impression that not every sound went according to script, and that sometimes the band didn't have a script to begin with. More than a few things fall horribly flat; one or two are even embarrassingly inept. But still there's enough on board to merit comparison with the best of the regular albums and, if you add the dazzling 40-page booklet and digipack recreations of the original albums' artwork, there's enough, too, to make this box worthwhile, even if you already own all the Faust you think you need. Because you don't know how wrong that belief can be. ~Allmusic


Faust - The Wumme Years 1970-73 (2000) (HDCD)

Faust - Faust (1971)
ReR F6 | 220Mb

The impact of Faust cannot be overstated; their debut album was truly a revolutionary step forward in the progress of "rock music". It was pressed on clear vinyl, packaged in a clear sleeve, with a clear plastic lyric insert. The black X-ray of a fist on the cover graphically illustrates the hard core music contained in the grooves, an amalgamation of electronics, rock, tape edits, acoustic guitars, musique concrete, and industrial angst. The level of imagination is staggering, the concept is totally unique and it's fun to listen to as well. ~Allmusic

Track listing
01. Why Don't You Eat Carrots? (9:35)
02. Meadow Meal (8:19)
03. Miss Fortune (16:35)
~ (34:29)

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