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Faust - Faust & Dälek: Derbe Respect, Alder CD (album) cover





3.74 | 17 ratings

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4 stars Rating: B+

As far as collaborations go, it would be hard to find one that sounds more appealing than Faust teaming with Dälek. Faust, of course, is a legendary Krautrock band with a string of great 1970s releases that revolutionized music, and at least one great "comeback" release (Ravvivando), which explores more industrial territory. Dälek, on the other hand, is an avant-garde rap group (highly inspired by Faust) that mixes avant-garde drones with pounding beats and politically charged raps. Faust were one of the most inventive bands of the 1970s; Dälek is one of the most inventive of the 2000s, and so a CD that sees them brought together is, at least on paper, a seeming gift from the heavens.

In practice, however. it's still a gift from the heavens. Faust and Dälek go at each other without mercy (as the Faust Vs. Dälek band title would suggest), making it an essential document for fans of either. On Derbe Respect, Alder, Dälek's produce, Oktopus, takes Faust jams and plays with them in the studio (occasionally adding bass lines or electronic beats), providing the backdrop for mc dälek's raps. Of course, mc dälek isn't even present on the opener, a jam that's spliced and put back together with a powerful, complex electronic beat. It recalls Faust's later work, and is equally as good, getting the album off to a very strong (if nearly impenetrably dense) start.

It never really lets up from there. The highlights are easily "Bullets Need Violence" and "T-Electronique", both of which feature mc dälek's raps over pounding, dense music. The latter is a reworking of one of the highlights of Faust's excellent Ravvivando CD, and it's improved here by mc dälek's powerful lyrics and delivery. The former is the most overtly political on the CD, with such lines as, "bullets leave guns to quench our need for violence." These two are the closest to standard songs this CD gets (and they're still pretty far). On other songs, such as "Remnants", Derbe Respect, Alder, shows its most impenetrable side. "Remnants" features whispered vocals from mc dälek over a soft, ominous drone. It never really does much, but it manages to build in intensity anyway, and it makes sense in the context of the CD. "Hungry for Now" is similarly obtuse, mixing a backdrop of fairly standard (if high quality) Dälek work with distinctly unstandard vocals, which feel almost stream of consciousness. They rarely if ever rhyme, making the song sound disjointed, but it's clear the effect is intentional, and it's quite potent.

By far the most difficult, uncompromising piece of the CD is the eight minute "Dead Lies", which has a verifiable wall of sound that never relents, pounding the listener's ears from start to finish. Throw in more off-kilter rapping by mc dälek (similar to that on "Hungry for Now"), and the result is a dissonant, difficult piece, but a piece which is of highlight quality. And then, of course, there is "Collected Twilight", which most closely captures the krautrock side of Faust.

The title of this collaboration is Derbe Respect, Alder, which would suggest that Dälek is paying tribute to their roots, and that is largely what it sounds like, as Dälek take Faust jams and turn them into Dälek rap songs. It is more avant-garde than any Dälek release (and really any Faust release as well), meaning that it's not a good place to start with either band. Fans of Faust, however, will want to check this mini-masterpiece out. As for fans of Dälek, they will find that Derbe Respect, Alder holds its own with Dälek's three other excellent CDs (all of which I highly recommend). This CD is dense and obtuse, but it's possible to get over that hump because it's also fantastic. Very much recommended.

Pnoom! | 4/5 |


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