Faust - Just Us - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Faust - Just Us

by Kevin Orton Rating:5 Release Date:2014-11-24

Full confession, I hit the wrong button. I meant to reserve another album for review and accidently hit this instead. If there were any one less qualified and more ignorant to review a Faust album, it would be yours true. In fact, I thought it was Feist not Faust I accidentally hit.

While I’m no stranger to John Cage or Elliot Carter or even late career Scott Walker, I am not completely in my element when it comes to Faust’s experimental tone-poems and soundscapes. Granted, I did my research and checked out their first two classic albums to get perspective. But their 1971 debut is a far cry from the 'experimental' likes of Trout Mask Replica, White Light/White Heat or side two of Bowie’s Low. None of which is much preparation for giving an informed review. At the very least, I’ll at least give an honest of impression.

The first two tracks remind me of John Cage. It reminds me of the music he wrote for The Merce Cunningham dance company. Vocals appear on track three. I think he’s speaking French or a mix of French and German. Since I don’t speak either language, haven't the foggiest what he's going on about.

Tracks four and five are quite brief and both sound more melodic, like artsy 'Renaissance faire' music. Track six sounds like someone literally left an old jalopy of a lawn, motor running, with some birds chirping in the background. Crudely industrial and quite lonesome, really.

Track seven is more John Cage minimalism but track eight, 'Palpitations' lives up to its title. It's by far the album’s most unsettling and eerie moment, like the soundtrack to some horror or slasher flick. Track nine starts out like someone sawing but then rises into a hypnotic crescendo of industrialized chanting.

Track 10 introduces startling horns; granted, they are suitably demented. Track 11 comes off as avant-jazz with German vocals. The last track is strikingly melodic and beautiful, much like the kind of new age music one meditates or does yoga to. It all ends with the sound of rain.

So there you have it, my impressions of Faust’s latest. I can’t say that it’s bad. I can’t say that its mind-blowing. If one digs Throbbing Gristle, Yoko Ono or Can, this is probably up your alley.

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