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Faust - Faust is Last

  by Jon Rogers

published: 7 / 6 / 2010

Faust - Faust is Last
Label: Klangbad
Format: CD


Sprawling and somewhat unfocused double album from German experimentalists, Faust

Confusingly there are two active versions of the German experimental band in existence, both featuring different members of the original band that was active in the early 70s and initially came to an end in 1975. This offshoot is headed by Hans Joachim Irmler and ‘Faust is Last’ sees him in playful, experimental mode, dipping the musical collective into a variety of styles and genres over a rather sprawling 22 songs on this double album. The first disc is a real mezze selection of ‘songs’ giving the listener a little taster of things. ‘Brumm und Blech’ gets things off sounding like the soundtrack to some BritArt installation. ‘Hit Me’ is a heavy metal howl as if played by Pink Floyd. Then there’s the industrial pounding of ‘Feed the Greed’ with added space-rock doodling. There’s also the chalk and cheese finale of the last two tracks. ‘Cluster fur Cluster’ – with its referential nod to the other ‘krautrock’ band – is a 20-second blast of noise. The closing ‘Day Out’ is a fumbling, if gentle , piano piece. It’s all a rather rag-tag, collection that doesn’t really fit together. It’s as if Irmler has been playing in the dressing up box and decided to don whatever musical style took his fancy on a particular day. But the good thing, as with any decent mezze, is that while you get a whole load of different things to try, if you don’t like any one particular thing you can just move on to something else and have a nibble on that instead. Disc two though is a different beast altogether, featuring more measured, atmospheric drawn-out affairs. The vision though is just as panoramic that range from the almost ambient, textured soundscapes to avant-garde grumblings. While the second disc hangs together much better it doesn’t always work ‘In But Out’ attempts to mesh some free-form jazzy riffs to Napalm Death-style vocals. But elsewhere there’s the lovely shifting patterns of ‘Vorübergehen’ and the soporific ‘Primitivelona’. With its two distinct discs ‘Faust is Last’ is similar, in that sense, to the groundbreaking single album ‘Neu! 75’ with its Night and Day sides by the other German pioneers Neu! or David Bowie’s ‘Low’ (which nicked the idea from Neu! anyway). ‘Faust is Last’ just extends the idea over two discs but with its wild diversity of genres and styles it rather lacks a focus or structure that holds it all together.

Track Listing:-
1 Brumm Und Blech
2 Imperial Lover
3 Feed The Greed
4 Chrome
5 Soft Prunes
6 Nachtfahrt
7 Hit Me
8 Dolls And Brawls
9 Drug Wipe
10 Steinbrand
11 I Don't Buy Your Shit No More
12 Babylon
13 X-Ray
14 Cluster Für Cluster
15 Day Out
16 Karneval
17 Ozean
18 SofTone
19 In But Out
20 GhosTrain
21 Vorübergehen
22 Primitivelona

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