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Faust - Something Dirty CD (album) cover





3.50 | 26 ratings

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3 stars Something Dirty

Faust have been a part of my sonic diet for a decade now, and whilst I was rather reluctant to sample their later output, I did finally overcome my preservations - going slightly overboard buying a couple of albums from the 90s along with this one. My fave from these guys is their masterly futuresque, dirty and gritty 4th album. Something wonderful happened: Everything erupted. The tigers broke free, as Roger put it a long time ago, but in regards to this particular band: how long can these orange creatures keep roaming the streets without adapting some form of altered behaviour?

Something Dirty is what you would expect a Faust album to be: expressive, buzzing, twirling, mechanical and improvisational. Listening to any sort of Faust record after their famous 4th has become an almost predictable experience, and here I am treading lightly, because even with the improbable foresight of one Nostradamus - you'd be hard pressed to actually know beforehand what lies around the corner in Faust's music. Often jagged and boisterous - fiddling around with insect noises, beetle choirs, little tiny charades played by an electric ant army hammering away on metallic grasses and minuscule congas. -No it's not about being able to spot the coming twists in the music, but rather to do with being fed the same sort of dish throughout a period of nearly 40 years. I'm being pretty hard with Faust here, but that is only because I love them dearly. It's like a record with The Rolling Stones if you will - you know what to expect, and if you by some miraculous chance get surprised, feel overwhelmed by an altogether new listening experience, then damn! What a thrill! More power to them! Maybe I'm missing the point here, because I still listen to this album with a great deal of pleasure, and had it not been a 2011 release, I'd most likely award it with a full 4 star rating, but I still feel like they could do so much more had they tried something a little different.

The big question though is, how does one even begin to do something differently within the confines of Faust's music? The music is damn near as challenging and thrill seeking as it gets. Now having spent a good amount of time with this album, and listening to it on my way home from work this afternoon with bloodied skies and shaking trees in the side of the road, -something struck me: What really lets this album down is its production. One only needs to dig out the original IV album to hear where it came from. The tunnelling buzzing synths worming along in the music to the distorted harking coughing guitars - the overall sound quality is still deeply rooted in a moment in time where all of this was new, out on a ledge and dangerous. Personally I think this band doesn't need to change one iota of their material apart from the production, but again this is coming from a long time fan, and if you happen to be a Faust virgin and reading this, then you should forget everything I've just said and just go ahead and buy this, because it really is a formidable album and one that paves the way into this remarkable artist just as well as any other of their most recent efforts.

Imagine a post apocalyptic world - where human cyborgs form a band out of leftover musicians, blenders, smashed up televisions and every little insect in sight. They play odes to the industrial nature of our long lost society - taking their inspiration from the crackling surfaces of nuclear power plants, abandoned factory halls, scrapyards and ash grey burned down electronic stores that blink and twitch in stroboscopic neon cries. Apply each of these individual images with the appropriate instrument - be that screeching trash can synths, bare naked metallic rumbling drums or the heavy breathing ghost like bass lines - and voila: you've got Faust!

This is a fine way to start your voyage into the magic of Faust, and whilst still feeling a bit disappointed that they didn't try anything new, I happen to enjoy this record immensely. On a personal level I am giving Something Dirty 4 stars, but this isn't the 70s any more, and I honestly think the industrial production could be swept under the rug for a change - only to welcome something new, preposterous, out there, beautiful or whatever - instead of something dirty, which I've heard a hundred times before.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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