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Faust - Faust / So Far CD (album) cover





4.71 | 22 ratings

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5 stars Considering that both of these albums are otherwise available as more expensive imports it's great to have the opportunity to buy this 2-fer. Not only is it convenient, but it boosts a cool sound and is nicely packaged with complete lyrics and extensive liner notes about the albums. Sadly, the song-related paintings of So Far aren't included, but these you can find on various Faust websites so you can print them. It's cool to hear these albums back-to-back because both show different sides to the band, making for one completely satisfying release.

The debut's legendary because there was nothing quite like it when it was released. It was inspired by Frank Zappa's 'musique concrete', using tapes with everyday sounds and creating collages with them, but it was much louder and harsher. It starts off with Why Don't You Eat Carrots, a barnstormer of an opener that immediately tests your patience. Shreds of The Stones and The Beatles are followed by mad, evil-sounding piano chords, followed by an even more deranged fanfare. It all ends with a male/female conversation, spliced by loud, spacey bleeps. Meadow Meal consists of three parts, starting with various percussive effects, an intense jam bookended by call- and-response vocals and ending with some tender classical-sounding piano. Then comes the mighty freak-out Miss Fortune (gettit?) that grabs The Velvet Underground's avant garde tendencies and turns it upside down. If I say the band recorded this (and most likely much of their output) under the influence of marijuana you might know what to expect. It's a breathtaking experience, to say the least! The album itself was originally released as a clear vinyl in a clear sleeve and clear inner sleeve, adorned with an X-ray of a fist and a couple of random newspaper stories. Unique indeed!

So Far's a shred more song-oriented, but no less intense. It's A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl starts things with a simple, insistent Moe-Tucker-like beat with the band chanting 'It's a rainy day, sunshine baby, it's a rainy day, sunshine girl' over it. It's pretty basic but some subtle additions are added to make the 7 minutes worthwile. A truly gorgeous little instrumental follows, showing that Faust isn't all about shocks and controverse. Things get truly weird from then on and No Harm (yeah, right) shows this in spades, with a long, intense, crazy jam following a foreboding, eerie take on Wagner and classical prog. Lots of chanting it has too: 'Daddy, take a banana. Tomorrow it's sunday!' A groovy, hypnotic title track follows with some awesome atmospheric sounds. Listen closely to the funky beat in 4/4 in relation to the other instruments! It segues into Mamie Is Blue, a scary electronic freak-out with all kinds of machinal buzzes and hums. It is followed by a goofy little song with an awesome hook at the start and a short, fast, enjoyable jam that sounds Zappa-like. Some inventive use of voice manipulation brings us to the end, In The Spirit, which sounds like a close, weird cousin to Zappa's America Drinks & Goes Home. So Far originally arrived in a black sleeve with paintings inside which corresponded to each of the tracks. These perfectly capture the dark mood of the music.

This 2-fer is a killer way to get hold of those classic albums!

Kaztor | 5/5 |


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