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Review: 'Faust'
'The Faust Tapes'   

-  Label: 'Bureau B/Bandcamp'
-  Genre: 'Seventies' -  Release Date: '12.8.22.'-  Catalogue No: 'BB391'

Our Rating:
The Faust Tapes are of course legendary, in my youth this album was often used at parties to separate those who should be in the room, where the sputnik was being smoked and those who weren't proper heads. I'm not sure I've ever listened to this album as sober as I am while writing this review. This re-issue will allow more people to wonder at how this mad album came out on a major label in Virgin records, as you marvel at just how influential it has been, even if very few of these songs have ever been covered. This album crams 26 songs into 44 minutes or one side of a C90 cassette.

The tapes open with Several Hands On Our Piano that does exactly what the title suggest and is cacophonous and dense. It leads into Don't a very short repetitive interlude.

Flashback Caruso is suddenly a lush acoustic guitar being strummed before the vocals come in and it goes off in five directions at once with lyrics about jumping marshmallows this sounds very mushroom influenced.

Voices And Trumpets And All is snatches of sounds found and otherwise concocted and manipulated like the music for some madcap film as the trumpets blast at the yelling man, tones tear at your brain and you wonder how to listen to this without ingesting huge amounts of drink or drugs. As the sci-fi sounds signal J'ai Mal Aux Dents an almost indie punk rifftastic tune with duel vocals of one garbled voice babbling away next to the voice that just repeats the main chorus before the screed of jazz madness hit you in the head like a mallet hitting a tent peg and the main riff comes back.

Beim Nachsten Ton Is Es.. is ambient sounds of someone walking up stairs clinking glasses and someone taking a leak and washing their hands after.

Two Drums, Bass, Organ does what it says on the tin but in the maddest way possible, brain melding, you really need to inhale deeply before this fries your brain. Dr Schwitters Intro has cascading keyboards oddly effective drumming and leads right into the oddly un piano like Several Hands On Our Piano Continued that is more string led.

Beam Me Up, Scotty takes the sound of the Star Trek transporter beam and adds odd, disembodied voices and outer space weirdness to the mix. Elerimomuvid has what became a four to the floor techno beat but with weirder than hell keyboards and other stuff over it.

Dr Schwitters Continued brings a tambourine in for some normalcy against all the weird keyboards and noises. Have A Good Time Everybody is the opposite of good time music being a real room clearer as anyone not toasted will be fleeing for less annoying sounds.

Above and Under Our Piano has some snare drum and cowbell being played I guess above and below the piano. Hermanns Lament is almost straight up jazz Sax and tonal bass playing. Donnerwetter almost sounds like music to have a golden shower too, although it's a bit freaky for that.

Was Ist Heir Los? Sounds like a jet engine and the noises an underground train makes when travelling round a bend a bit too fast. Rudolf Der Pianist is Rudolf playing what could almost be a piece of classical piano.

Ricochets has a plinky plonky feel to it with added tape hiss and an ominous keyboard bass sound. I've Heard That One Before sounds like they have taken a classical sample and meshed it to a second sample to come up with something new, the trumpet is wonderful as is the underlying bass part.

Watch Your Step is a super short interlude before Under Our Piano Again that is super odd like they are hanging out with the Soup Dragon On the moon. Fluid Chorus is of course fluid but appears to not have a chorus or any vocals at all for that matter.

Stretch Out Time is the closest they come to a normal song, this could almost have been a single, this is an odd kraut folk electronica song for a time when things really do stretch out. Der Baum has multiple vocal strands and spare percussion that in places you could almost sing along too.

The album closes with Chere Chambre an almost bucolic folk song with spoken word French vocals that are a bit Serge Gainsbourg this is one of the most radio friendly songs on the album.

Find Out More at https://shop.tapeterecords.com/faust-the-faust-tapes-1879 https://faust.bandcamp.com/album/the-faust-tapes

  author: simonovitch

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