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




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3 stars 3.5 stars.

It really pains me to give this fine album 3 star rating here, but I have to say that for the majority of people here it wouldn't be worth much in a collection. The album is far more on the experimental side. Sometimes it is fantastic, while many other moments just seem rather disappointing.

Dälek is an underground and very experimental rap group who cites Faust as an influence. I'm a huge underground rap fan, so naturally I was very excited to hear about this collaboration. I think that the lyrical value of underground rap mixed with the sounds of Krautrock pioneers Faust could very well end up being a worthwhile listen. And this album does live up to my expectations, to an extent.

The album has a strong industrial sound courtesy of Faust. Faust created these soundscapes, which were subsequently doctored by the rap group Dälek to fit the lyrics and to achieve the sound they wanted. These industrial sounds, along with thought provoking recurring lyrical themes from Dälek, dominate the album.

I'll start with the high points. The first one to mention would be the track T-Electronique. Taken originally from an older Faust recording, it was altered to perfectly fit Dälek's lyrics, which sound better on the album here than anywhere else. The industiral beats and sounds mixed with these dark and grade A rap lyrics create an atmosphere unlike anything else I've heard in the underground rap or prog rock communities. One of my all time favorite tracks.

The rest of the album doesn't function nearly as well. There are times when the industrial sounds are very interesting and a joy to. The tracks Imagine What We Started and Dead Lies are rap-free and still hold a great atmosphere. However in the tracks where there is rap, the sounds tend to be aimless and meandering, and most importantly does not fuse well with the rap. There are no beats to follow like in T-Electronique which can make the rap rather frustrating to follow. Aside from T-Electronique, the only track that comes close to working well is Collected Twilight. Bullets Need Violence, Hungry For Now, and Remnants make up a large part of the album; and don't offer anything more than that aforementioned frustration.

If the fusion of the two groups had been as good as it was in T-Electronique, this could have been an amazing record. But because it generally isn't, I feel the collaboration was a bit of a disappointment. We did get some good tracks out of it though (mostly thanks to Faust).

Recommended to any fans of avant-prog and underground rap, as the experimentation may be more to their liking than it is to mine. Though in most progressive music collections here it doesn't offer much.

Report this review (#122276)
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#164110)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
4 stars Street life

I am just about the biggest fan of German Krautrock legends Faust, but as I have previously stated, I think a lot of the stuff they've been churning out the past 10 years - have been stuck in the worming industrial palette as the one you encounter, when you pop on IV. I love the sound myself, but if they're aiming for a higher rating than a 3 - then advance, turn tricks or just plain change direction...

Then I bumped into this record. Watch me eat my own words - with pleasure and sea salt. I've come across a fair deal of collaborations in my life, but this one has got to be one of the most strange and yet most fulfilling that I can think of. Damn this is some good faeces!!! Though, if we rewind things a bit, we can actually spot what seems to be the perfect combination musically. Faust were of course one of the main instigators of the industrial genre - pioneering the metallic and desolate expression before any other bands were even thinking of combining such madness within a musical barrier. Dälek on the other hand took a lot of their inspiration from the same industrial wave as Faust fathered - using beats, bits and somewhat atypical noisiness and dark misanthropic moods - intelligently weaving these cryptic ingredients into the rhymes of the main man. Yet hip hop was always that. A Frankenstein of different parts - historical pieces spanning from Mo-town to Sergio Leone flicks glued together in a weird, bouncy and flavourful concoction that made your head bump and feet stomp.

On this album - the different angles of the industrial music age converge into something quite unique and expressive. Sure it is dark and noisy, but it works like a saw in a tree.

While I gather most of the mature people out there would hate this stuff with a vengeance - I can see many of the new comers to the world of experimental music go absolutely crazy to this mind-numbingly creation. There is a lot to like here - like the laser beam electronics mixed with a slightly corrosive coating that quite simply sounds like sonic acid tunnelling its way down into your brain. Coupled up together with staccato turntable flickers and the mad dog beats of hip hop, you here face something extraordinary and urban - like a towering sonic stature of cement and gravel throwing fiery darts in your general direction.

This one is atmospheric, creepy, echoing, uncouth, bad mouthed, ill tempered, beautiful and ugly, jarring, full of beats, rhymes and an urban pulse-taking device that seems to go beyond what you'll ever read about in a magazine like The Wire. This is streets, fuel and crowbars handed over in a dirty and rough musical gift basket.

Report this review (#777268)
Posted Monday, June 25, 2012 | Review Permalink

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