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Faust - The Faust Tapes CD (album) cover





3.81 | 126 ratings

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4 stars We must face a fact about "The Faust Tapes": it is one of the most polarizing recordings of all time. You'll love it or you'll hate it. Personally, this is one of my favorite albums of my 2000+ collection, and I've played it constantly since I discovered it when I was a mere lad of 15. A sound collage made up of older recordings spliced together in a seemingly random fashion, this album was originally released at a super-low price (it was $3.99 as an import in the U.S.)to celebrate/promote Faust's signing to Virgin records. Ironically, it's probably the least commercial thing they did in the seventies. Originally the album was a single continuous track, with no titles... I'll bet D.J.s of the day loved that (John Peel aside)!There are a few complete songs here- the gentle "Flahback Caruso" (which ends with a cool fuzz guitar-piano duel) the relentlessly propulsive "J'ai Mal Aux Dents" (which contains a French chant that roughly translates as "My teeth hurt, my feet hurt also")and the live favorite "Stretch Out Time". But most of the album is given over to sonic experimentation with no boundaries whatsoever.Prepared pianos duel with electric drills. Ayler-styled sax wails through walls of reverb, suddenly changing to a duet involving satillite-transmission keyboards and echoing trumpet. Experiments begin and end suddenly, violently, without regard for listener comfort. Similar to Zappa's "Lumpy Gravy" in form, but much stranger and less contrived, do not even attempt to listen to this unless you have an open musical mind and a taste for artistic mayhem. But if you are ready, as David Bowie once sang, to "turn and face the strange", "The Faust Tapes" may just be your cuppa avant-garde tea.
| 4/5 |


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