Faust was always a weird lash-up of incongruous experimentation bordering on triumphant success and noble failure, as this welcome 1973 reissue demonstrates.
Emphasising feel over instrumental virtuosity, there are times when it threatens to fall apart.Yet this very fragility is also a central part of their enduring charm. "The Sad Skinhead" flirts with ska whilst the happy-clappy square dance of "Giggy Smile" offers a folk-tinged minimalism to their blend of dilettante rock.
They stand on firmer ground during the epic groove-driven, "Krautrock", which not only spawned a generic description but whose seeds would later flourish with the likes of The Jesus And Mary Chain and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
A bonus CD of contemporary radio sessions, previously unreleased alternate takes and explorations provide a portrait of a sprawling, chaotic but well-respected musical institution that excites and surprises to this day. --Sid Smith
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