faUSt - Fresh Air

by Ljubinko Rating:9 Release Date:2017-05-26

If you’re unfamiliar with Faust, you've been missing a big chunk of modern music history, particularly that part of it originating in Europe. You’ve also been missing out on some standard and not so standard history of the band. The more standard fare is that they have been at it long before some of their current fans were born. You can usually find a list of over twenty or so albums under their name, but even they themselves are not sure if that is a correct number. And they still have the largest collection of recorded music in any shape or form this side of Frank Zappa. And, even more important is the fact they have, along with a handful of other bands, been largely responsible for what is still known as Krautrock.

Now the less standard fare is that they always had a very leftist political stance, with rumors that they were at some early point even connected with the (then) West German Baader-Meinhof group. Straight from that stance, they went into being the ‘strangest’ and a most experimental band that got into the UK charts with their still seminal Faust Tapes, still one of the best collage concepts in modern music.

So here we are with yet another Faust album, Fresh Air, with prominent roles from two founding members, Werner Diermaier and Jean Herve Peron. There are guest musicians around this time, with roles for the Californian cult figure Barbara Manning and members of Die Krupps and Art Zoyd, among others. The politics are still around, Faust now being FaUSt. I guess, just to make sure we know who Dr. Faustus is at the moment. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that the album was recorded in the US in the intervals between concerts but also including snippets of those performances (literally - Partitur). But then, Peron shouting “Allons enfants de la machine!” (Let’s go, children of the machine!) in Chlorophyl might speak otherwise.

Oh, the music… Still wildly experimental and intriguing, a combination of long improvisational parts and brief musical snippets all combined in one great ball of music fire. Essential for fans, a great entry point for those who somehow missed Faust before.

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