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4.5 out of 5 stars
4
4.5 out of 5 stars
Faust Tapes
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 14 July 2001
As far as the German experimental rock movement of the early 1970s goes, Faust were the definite wild cards. If you are expecting something similar to the metronomically relentless groove of Can, Neu! or even Kraftwerk then Faust's random, almost ramshackle style comes as a complete surprise. All of the music recorded by the group in its original '70s incarnation is essential, but if one album has to be singled out then it is The Faust Tapes. Originally a continuous suite of stitched together fragments with no track listing (though the CD now separates the tracks), it flows between gentle accoustic folk-psychedelia, musique concrete, jazz rock jamming and random found sounds. Minutes will pass without any kind of 'song' to be heard, then out of the blue a wistful melody will appear. Gradually the group will lock into a ferocious instrumental passage before being interrupted by.... the German telephone operator!!! Even better, the album closes with just what you'd expect from a German avant rock masterpiece, a solo accoustic guitar ballad spoken (not sung) in French!!! Throughout the madness the standard of the music is fantastic, while the contrary nature of the album only accentuates the band's originality and establishes it as a tower in the canon of underground music.
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on 14 September 2007
First released in 1973, this one-track CD lasts 43 minutes is dubbed by many as a krautrock classic. No arguement from me. It's quite enjoyable, progressive and innovating to say the very least. There are brief portions here {and there} that show up on 'Faust IV' and '71 Minutes' tending to sound a bit different. For awhile, this title was hard to find but it should be easier now. A should-have.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 May 2014
I agree about the first review here - says it all, really; accurate and informative.
What can I add? Well...

When this first came out, it was the album that taught me about the notion of Aural Landscapes.
Some music can be listened to and it transports you out of your chair/futton etc. and you find yourself wandering round in a synesthetic world entirely conjured by the music's texture.
On a good, proper old-fashioned Hi-Fi this can be absolutely astonishing and any sense of listening to a performance is lost as the mind negotiates whatever world it has been cued to generate.

The most blatant example is probably Mickey Hart's At The Edge which, to me and many visitors, sounds far more like standing on a surf washed beach right on the edge of a rainforest than to an expanded percussion ensemble.
Before the gentle reader dismisses this as some drugged-out hippy talking Utter Gateaux, I would like to make it plain that I am not talking about "music that's good when you're high." I'm taking about a listening experience that can be so profound that even stone-cold sober, the listener is disorientated then transported by the music and the sounds are perceived as solid parts of your surroundings.

Arvo Part's Fratres drags me into some strange places as does Beethoven's Pastoral and, of course, Debussy's Engulfed Cathedral but the granddaddy of 'em all is the Faust Tapes. This album sideswipes and blindsides you as you wander round in your head and the best, poor, ananogy I can come up with is that it's a roller coaster which snakes its way round beautiful Disney-sweet vistas and suddenly yanks you into a Ghost Train and then into desolate wilderness or a fountain-filled harem garden and then... who knows. Heaven or Hell itself?

If I was on that Desert Island and could only take one disc, this would certainly be it.
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on 15 January 2007
The only thing I'd add to the previous excellent and accurate review is that Faust's LPs were originally cleverly packaged and promoted. Their first album was on transparent vinyl in a transparrent sleeve. The front cover of The Faust Tapes designed by Ewe Nettelbeck, was crammed full of typed reviews of the band's work in very small print. The back cover was of a Bridget Riley painting - but the most remarkable thing about this record was its price. 45p. The UK had only two years previously switched from Pounds, Shillings & Pence so the New Pence were still a bit of a novelty. Even so, at 45p this record (released by Virgin surprisingly) was virtually being GIVEN AWAY! I met many people in the ensuing years who had the Faust Tapes tucked away in their record collection, played it once and had forgotten it was there. Faust's mercurial originality isn't to everyone's taste.

Sadly this CD release costs more that 45p - It's quite pricey, actually - and the original sleeve has been ditched for some reason but, much as I resent the new price, I haven't heard the record crackle-free for quite a while so I'll be getting myself a copy!
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