Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Faust - 1973 - The Faust Tapes

The Faust Tapes

01. Exercise (0:52)
02. Exercise (0:21)
03. Flashback Caruso (4:01)
04. Exercise (1:48)
05. J'ai Mal Aux Dents (7:14)
06. Untitled (1:03)
07. Untitled (1:42)
08. Dr Schwitters #1 (0:25)
09. Exercise (1:11)
10. Untitled (1:18)
11. Untitled (0:50)
12. Dr Schwitters #2 (0:49)
13. Untitled (1:03)
14. Untitled (0:47)
15. Untitled (1:33)
16. Untitled (2:18)
17. Untitled (0:34)
18. Untitled (0:51)
19. Untitled (1:15)
20. Untitled (2:28)
21. Untitled (0:20)
22. Untitled (1:13)
23. Untitled (0:59)
24. Stretch Out Time (1:35)
25. Der Baum (3:49)
26. Chère Chambre (3:07)

- Arnulf Meifert / drums
- Werner Dermeier / drums
- Hans-Joachim Irmler / organ
- Gunter Wusthoff / synthesizer, saxophone
- Rudolf Sosna / guitar, keyboards
- Jean-Herve Peron / bass

The Faust Tapes" is the 3rd full-length studio album by German krautrock act Faust. The album was released in 1973 through Virgin Records. The album is quite the oddity as it was originally sold for the price of a single to increase the UK audiences interest in Faust. A very unconventional marketing decision to say the least, but considering the even more odd decision by Virgin Records to sign an act as experimental and far from mainstream as Faust, it maybe isn´t as surprising. The late 60s/early 70s were times of heavy experimentation by both artists and labels, and this is definitely one of those.
"The Faust Tapes" features 26 tracks which seque into each other to form a sort of sound collage. The kind of sound experiment that I often dismiss as art for art´s sake but there´s just something special about Faust that makes even their most odd experiments stand out among projects by similar acts. There are only a couple of the tracks on "The Faust Tapes" that I would catagorize as "real" tracks. Tracks like "Flashback Caruso", "J´ai Mal Aux Dents", and "Der Baum" are examples of that. Most of the tracks on the album are odd and generally very short sound experiments though. Strange tape manipulations and effects, short pop/rock song like sequences and several weird experiments titled "Exercises". You can probably imagine how they sound like with songtitles like: "Exercise - With Several Hands on Piano" and "Exercise - With Voices, Drum and Sax". Most tracks sound a bit unfinished to my ears and while many of the ideas in thecompositions are interesting the tracks often lack structure and direction. The usual references to Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention are as evident on "The Faust Tapes" as they were on "Faust (1971)" and "So Far (1972)"...

...the final product is unfortunately not as strong as the first two albums by the band and even though I don´t know this for a fact I suspect that the material on "The Faust Tapes" are actually leftovers from the "So Far" sessions rather than new studio recordings by the band. To my ears "The Faust Tapes" sounds more like an odd experiment than anything else and while those who are familiar with the first two albums by the band would expect nothing but that, the quality of the material just isn´t as high on "The Faust Tapes" as the case were on the two predecessors.

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