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Faust - The Faust Tapes  CD (album) cover

THE FAUST TAPES

Faust

 

Krautrock

3.73 | 88 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars I believe (but can't be sure) that there are a few different versions, and the one I have is the Cuneiform-ReR version (more on this later), and this album received a UK-only on the Virgin label release at the time. The album, as the title indicates was made of tapes lying around and assembled into one big 43-min track (how that was possible without having an audible cut somewhere, is beyond me) and apparently moved quite well in UK, since it was sold at the price of a single, but often returned after one play as "crap". The back cover assures us that the almost 44-mins are cut in the 26 (unnamed) tracks (digitally indexed), and a buddy having the original Cd ReR-version tells me it is the case. So obviously Cuneiform's version is not respecting it. But this detail should not let us forget the most important, the strange and weird music on Tapes. The artwork appears different on this issue as well.

While the first Faust albums were definitive Krautrock statemernts, their collab (Dream Syndicate) with a minimalist obviously perverted their spirit and Tapes is the real result: one of the very first RIO album (avant-la-lettre, though) that boggles the mind, but can also disturb unaware/unwarned listeners (which is exactly what I was last time I rented this album from the library. This often-phantasmagoric soundscape is one of its decade's most influential albums, obviously heard by the Henry Cows and others. Rather hard to describe, the music often is just "bruitages" and montages of almost-industrial noises, but has some rather more accessible (almost easy) moments and some downright strange/disturbing "tunes", rendering the whole mix quite unnerving. Quite a strange but sometimes-wonderful trip, but by the time you get to the French-sung finale (by bassist Jean-Hervé Peron), you'll be glad the album is over. And unless having masochist tendencies, you shall not press replay right away.

After this very strange record, Faust would go on to release their fourth album, which turned to be their last of the decade, even though the group has been sporadically active for the last three decades (and at the time of this review, I believe they are). It is hard to rate this essential album correctly, because of the fact that it is historically important, absolutely highly influential (one of the four Virgin label albums that history shall remember, along with Oldfield's Tubular Bells Gong's you and the Sex Pistols' sole album), but yet slightly over-rated because of its iconic status.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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