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Krautrock • Germany

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Faust biography
Founded in Wümme, Germany in 1971 - Disbanded in 1975 - Regrouped since 1990 (from 2004 as two bands)

Considered by many music historians as one of the most important group out of Germany, FAUST were certainly ahead of their time. They took their music to unsuspecting heights somewhere in between CAN, VELVET UNDERGROUND, NEU, LA DUSSELDORF or HENRY COW but also much farther and can be considered as founding fathers of the Industrial Rock. Having made their debut in 71 in Hamburg, FAUST will never stop their groundbreaking and will be always one step ahead of everybody else including the groups above mentioned and are the prime example of Rock In Opposition (RIO) along with HENRY COW.

FAUST is definitely not for the faint-hearted person and can only be recommended in small doses because it is very dangerous for the sanity of the average proghead. DO NOT and I repeat this Do Not feed this to a pregnant woman or a mentally fragile person - although you could give it to Techno Heads - as they would greatly enjoy this.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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Buy FAUST Music

Faust [Vinyl]Faust [Vinyl]
Lilith 2007
$22.91 (used)
So FarSo Far
Polydor 2010
$14.87 (used)
Faust IV [Vinyl]Faust IV [Vinyl]
Limited Edition
Virgin 2009
$25.14 (used)
Multiple Formats
Imports 2012
$8.48 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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FAUST discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

FAUST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 220 ratings
3.55 | 146 ratings
So Far
3.81 | 136 ratings
The Faust Tapes
3.92 | 238 ratings
Faust IV
4.00 | 17 ratings
The Last LP
3.88 | 24 ratings
3.86 | 28 ratings
You Know Faust
2.70 | 16 ratings
Faust Wakes Nosferatu
3.95 | 37 ratings
3.71 | 19 ratings
Faust & Dälek: Derbe Respect, Alder
3.54 | 22 ratings
Faust & Nurse With Wound: Disconnected
3.41 | 33 ratings
C'Est Com... Com... Compliqué
3.24 | 27 ratings
Faust Is Last
3.52 | 28 ratings
Something Dirty
3.36 | 11 ratings
Just Us
3.85 | 15 ratings
Fresh Air

FAUST Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.23 | 3 ratings
The Faust Concerts Vol. I
2.23 | 3 ratings
The Faust Concerts Vol. II
3.22 | 9 ratings
Live in Edinburgh
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Land Of Ukko&Rauni
4.25 | 4 ratings
Faust ... In Autumn
2.00 | 1 ratings
Schiphorst 2008

FAUST Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Faust In Japan
2.26 | 4 ratings
Trial And Error
5.00 | 1 ratings
Nobody Knows if it Really Happened

FAUST Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 16 ratings
Munic And Elsewhere
4.07 | 19 ratings
71 Minutes of Faust
3.83 | 6 ratings
4.63 | 17 ratings
The Wümme Years
4.71 | 22 ratings
Faust / So Far
4.00 | 11 ratings
BBC Sessions +
4.50 | 2 ratings
3.12 | 8 ratings
Patchworks 1971-2002
5.00 | 1 ratings
Collectif Met(z) 1996-2005

FAUST Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
So Far
0.00 | 0 ratings
Faust Party Extracts 1/6
5.00 | 1 ratings
Faust Party Extracts 2/4
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ravvivando Remix

FAUST Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Faust by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 220 ratings

Faust Krautrock

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Faust's self-titled debut is experimental, avant-garde, and wacky for the sake of wackiness. The musicians are competent, the singers are passable, the performances are adequate, and the sound quality is decent. But I'm not sure any of that matters. Faust is not comprised of songs in any traditional sense; the two tracks on Side One, for instance, are sound collages. The point - - and I do believe there is a point here - - seems to be the postproduction, not the performances.

The first side is comprised of two studio tracks. The first, 'Why Don't You Eat Carrots,' is the more musical, with a middle section built around a brass vamp. On the other hand, the final two minutes is almost like a medley of weirdness. Then there's the even more experimental 'Meadow Meal.' The stream-of-consciousness vocal section which ends right before the song's halfway mark could be an irreverent stab at a Zappa tune. Like 'Why Don't You Eat Carrots,' 'Meadow Meal' is evidently assembled from divergent recordings, some (probably) sonically manipulated beyond recognition. But unlike its predecessor, the most musical section of 'Meadow Meal' comes at the end. It's an atmospheric passage played on a heavily treated organ - - sounding quite a bit like Klaus Schulze's first two albums (both of which were released after Faust).

Side Two is taken by a live track, 'Miss Fortune.' It stars off like something from Ummagumma, but quickly heads for left field before settling into a trance-y - - but still Ummagumman - - groove for a few minutes before launching into a brief Krautrock freakout. And that's just the first five minutes! Some jamming follows, evolving back into a freakout situation. Then, just when I start to think that 'Miss Fortune' sounds like a different band than the one that performed the first side, the drummer stops, then the guitarist stops, leaving just the piano. Next in the pattern of non sequiturs is a heavily effected vocal duet - - you get the idea: it's almost like a pasted-together piece. And then, a little after thirteen minutes into the track, a squawking tape loop appears, and 'Miss Fortune' actually becomes a studio sound collage - - which is also a bit Zappaesque, come to think of it.

Faust is one of those albums that I appreciate more than enjoy; it succeeds more as art than entertainment. But it's not as successful as, say, Ash Ra Tempel's self-titled album or Tangerine Dream's Electronic Meditation, two other Krautrock debuts from the same period.

 Faust by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 220 ratings

Faust Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars On the more adventurous side of Germany's Krautrock spectrum, the Hamburg based FAUST took their name not only because it was the name of the classic German protagonist legend who made a pact with the devil but also because it was the German word for "fist" and therefore had a double impact and after experiencing this legendary debut from this highly experimental band that was way ahead of its time, it becomes clear that both meanings of the moniker apply. The band members Arnulf Meifert (drums, vocals), Gunther Wüsthoff (synthesizer, saxophone), Rudolf Sosna (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Hans-Joachim Irmler (organ), Jean- Hervé Péron (bass, vocals) and Werner 'Zappi' Diermaier (drums) all met in 1969 but didn't officially form FAUST until 1971. The second drummer Arnulf Meifert joined for the debut album but then departed.

Despite almost no history of playing together, FAUST was signed immediately to Polydor records due to the rush to cash in on the burgeoning Krautrock scene engulfing the German music scene however the various members had all played in the bands Nucleus and Campylognatus Citelli which apparently was good enough for the label under the Deutsche Grammophon parent company. Despite the band's newbie status, they were given full reign to have complete artistic freedom and were gifted the time, space and money to create anything they desired which sounds almost unheard of by any day's standards. With all liberties any such band could dream of, the members spent a year recording this debut album in a rural studio in the small town Wümme near Hamburg.

The band has stated that they basically wasted six months with alcohol, drugs and partying with only wild experimentation with sound effects emerging and only got their act together in the second half of the year. When it was time to cough up the goods, the band panicked but found a way to patch in all the avant-garde experiments with some more conventional musical output. The result was this bizarre amalgamation of Krautrock, musique concrète, sound collages, industrial noise and an early example of avant-prog many years before bands like Henry Cow took it to new levels. The result of this experimental mishmash was that it sold disastrously but did please the critics who were excited by such bold musical statements. Polydor's disappointment was followed by an equally disastrous tour that only demonstrated that FAUST was unable to replicate these wild antics in a live setting, nevertheless the band gained a cult following and would slowly but steadily gain an audience however not fast enough for Polydor who dropped them after three albums.

While bands like Amon Duul II and Can were going for the psychedelic jugular, FAUST took the surrealist's approach and crafted an album that took a multitude of musical styles, sound manipulations and chaotic displays of progressive rock attributes on steroids and cranked out one of the most demanding musical deliveries of 1971, a year when the progressive rock scene was just gaining full maturity. FAUST eschewed catchy melodies, 60s grooves or any other conventional means (for the most part) of musical expressions and instead constructed a rotisserie of tones, timbres, mood enhancers and playful antics that were cryptic, chaotic, complex and highly creative. The three tracks that constituted the near 36 minute running time consisted of side A delivering two lengthy tracks roughly around 9 minutes each with side B consisting of a single track that was just shy of 18 minutes.

The opening track with its absurd title "Why Don't You Eat Carrots" obviously found some Canterbury scene whimsy that was mostly absent from the nascent Krautrock scene but the music was dark, mysterious and atmospheric. The opener begins with FAUST's famous first impressions of heavy static that sounds as if it's leaping through various frequencies and happening upon popular music such as The Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and The Beatles' "All You Need Is Loving" but the fleeting samples disappear as soon as they are detected and the inter dimensional trip through musical portals leads to new alien soundscapes. "Meadow Meal" continues this avant-garde musical journey into a labyrinth of sonic possibilities and only contains sparse dabbling of "real" music.

The lengthy closer "Miss Fortune" is the closest thing to a contemporary Krautrock track as it has lengthy psychedelic jam sessions interspersed by spastic eruptions of jazz, avant-prog and just plain weird outbursts of creativity. Perhaps my favorite part of this mondo bizarro flirtation with insanity comes from the cleverly recited poem where two members take turns saying a word in different channels while the band plays seemingly nonsensical sounds away in the background. This is where the Strawberry Fields forever blossomed into watermelons and the LSD kicked in full force.

There was literally nothing like this when this album was released and obviously a little too far ahead for many. Of course, Polydor demanded the band tame things down after the commercial train wreck sunk in and for the second album "So Far" the band crafted a slightly more accessible album, however FAUST remained steadfastly untamable and nowhere does that ring more true than this wacky avant-garde musical statement on this debut. The album originally was released with a clear cover of an x-ray of a hand silkscreened on the outer sleeve. The beauty is that somehow this flows from one insane idea to the next so perfectly. A true masterpiece of the avant-garde and the blueprints for both avant-prog and the bleak industrial music scene that followed.

 Fresh Air by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.85 | 15 ratings

Fresh Air
Faust Krautrock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Real experimental just like "Why Don't You Eat Carrots", my first surprise ... this golden phrase should be appropriate for the Krautrock legend FAUST. "Fresh Air", released in 2017, is filled with colourful sound variation, completely without any restraint by authentic rock scene. This attitude of theirs could be thought as kinda antitheses against everything nowadays, I guess ... as if they claimed "pop music must go to hell" all around the album.

The first over 17 minute titled extremity is a cynic of sound. This crazy one reminds me exactly of "Esplanade" by Fille Qui Mousse, flooded with sensual female voices and irritable, irregular noises. Inorganic danceable rock rhythms here and there amongst noises are such a comfort, in that the audience should get immersed. "La Poulie" has tribal, ethnic percussion and spelling shouts in the same vein of Brast Burn's Debon. Obviously got freakout 'with strong intention'.

On the other hand in the following track "Chlorophyl" we can feel of downtempo psychic agents via repetitive sticky melodies with slimy saxophone sounds. Surprising at noticing some rap / hiphop essence via "Lights Flicker" (of course not simply progressive rap music but artistic hallucinogenic avantgarde electronika, we can call it as). Through the last "Fish" we can find kaleidoscopic appearance of pelagic fishes beneath the sea (normally appearance of a pelagic fish is not colourful but monotonous, so this texture might be sorta cynical presentation by FAUST I suppose).

 So Far by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 146 ratings

So Far
Faust Krautrock

Review by Deferred Defect

3 stars Faust is strange.

I had known about them for years, but beyond being "that group from Germany", there wasn't anything else I could have told you about the iconic Krautrock pioneers.

Actually becoming involved with the genre had somehow made them even more mysterious, and it was rare that they were brought up at all. It was groups like Popul Vuh, CAN, and Cluster that were the topics of discussion, and I had forgotten Faust had even existed.

Maybe it's because they were *too* experimental; Their first release is a smorgasbord of sampled 60's pop rock, fairground sounds, traditional folk music, and shouted, almost cult like, vocals. It's tough material to get through, and was exceedingly effective at scaring me away for a while.

"So Far" was their second release, and embraces a far more conventional structure, but of course that's entirely relative! Being a complete sellout myself, it was the first track that got me interested in the album at all.

"It's A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl" is a basic, but impossibly catchy opener. With a heavy tom-tom playing the simplest beat imaginable, it sounds as if some far away tribe has just entered the industrial revolution, and it really doesn't get much more complicated from here on out. 98% of the lyrics are in the song title, and there's no progression, but It's got such a happy vibe that I'm certain nobody could listen to it without feeling just a little bit better.

"On the Way to Abamäe" is a fantastic followup track. As it starts, it feels as though the band has taken the elements from "Why Don't You Eat Carrots" and played them in a slightly more conventional manner. We get the shouted lyrics, but almost to a beat, the folksy/fairground atmosphere, but it's worked into the song structure, rather than just an out of phase sample.

Eventually it breaks down into a very late 1960's sounding jazz/rock piece titled "No Harm".

There's enormous energy, and although the lyrics (as usual) make absolutely no sense, I get an almost Santana or even Gypsy King vibe from their delivery. This is an extremely fun song that highlights the groups improvisational abilities.

The second half of the album is insanely diverse, covering a range of genres that really shouldn't be on the same set of grooves. If I were to be writing a screenplay covering someone's slow spiral into insanity, this would be the soundtrack.

We start with "traditional Krautrock", whatever that might be. A simple but clean buildup in "So Far" sets the stage, with elements being added and removed as the band sees fit. This could be off of one of NEU!'s first few releases, including the transition from the happy, eventually comfortable soundscape Faust sets up, promptly dissolved into the dark, industrial sounding noises and bass heavy beats in "Mamie is Blue".

If all this has gotten you down, luckily Faust has you covered. "I've Got My Car and my TV" could be the theme for a 1970s children's show, complete with more folksy lyrics and instrumentation. It's well produced, but has aged the worst of all the songs, making it slightly disorienting to my ears. It would definitely have fit in as a guest track on Yellow Submarine.

Two more atmospheric freeform tracks fill the gap between this and the final song, "...In the Spirit", a vaudeville style romp, complete with brass and finger-snapping that comes along for the ride.

If this half of the record is analogous to losing your mind, our protagonist is long gone by this point! Unfortunately, I think it's *too* well done, and instead of feeling like a Faust take on Broadway, it comes across as a musical number that was included by accident.

This is one of those albums where I find myself switching records altogether after finishing Side 1. I appreciate the work that went into it, but the mood and atmospheres so carefully crafted during the first 25 minutes are unceremoniously torn down with the rest of the album. It's easier to go from Side 1 of "So Far" into "Tago Mago", than finishing Side 2, and now being forced to put on "Band on the Run"!

If there's one thing Faust is predictable at, it's unpredictability.

3.5/5 and still highly recommended listening.

 The Faust Tapes by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.81 | 136 ratings

The Faust Tapes
Faust Krautrock

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Suckerpunch: The Album. Throbbing Gristle circa 1979, take notes. First, you follow the discount model of record marketing in the '70s, and so price your new LP like a single. Next, have that LP be put together by some random bloke at Virgin with a penchant for surprises from a collection of all those old tapes of your music you have lying around. Now watch with glee as at least 50,000 members of the British music listening public become confused and disgusted by your and your Anglo label's Frankensteinian meisterwerk.

This concrete Adonis is built on hairpin turns through already strange, experimental, diverse, and unique musics and sounds and even some peppered in studio talks for that "In My Time of Dying" feel two years early. I can hear free jazz, noise, and proto- industrial alongside the snippets of more familiar krautrock kraziness. A happy surprise comes in the form of some pieces being long, providing some wonderful extended jams that are also respites from the insanity. This is more than just a representation of track skipping/channel hopping in intentional musical form, this is "Breathless" in album form. This defies category; it isn't even really concrete as we'd generally identify it; just mumble 'avant garde' and run. Excellent music in a groin smashing format. For the progheads who like surprises. I need to lie down.

 Faust & Nurse With Wound: Disconnected by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.54 | 22 ratings

Faust & Nurse With Wound: Disconnected
Faust Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This recording is how I imagine the original Amon Düül sounding in 2007 if they'd had the technology and any sense of professionalism at hand. The opener has many similarities to 'Psychedelic Underground' from 1969. Forget about the 4/4 beat - this is a 1/1 Red American Indian tribal dirge.

Despite being well produced and being very clear in sound separation, 'Disconnected' leaves me feeling disengaged by its conclusion. I own around 40 Nurse With Wound LP's and have the first 4 'Faust' recordings so had high hopes approaching this collaboration of two very studio-bound artists.

Overall, this album sounds far more 'Nurse With Wound' than 'Faust'. I can only imagine that 'Faust' handed over some DAT tapes with which Steve Stapleton deconstructed, mashed, bashed and re-built to his own requirements.

'Disconnected' is mostly made up of the usual 'Nurse With Wound' precisely clipped vocal snippets, while all sorts of metallic drones and ethereal groans are layered one on top of the other. It creates a very odd Dadaist atmosphere where intentionally, nothing makes sense. There's even a john Cage moment called 'Silence' where you have to listen to nothing for one minute. Why?

"Tu M'Entends?" utilises that 'Nurse With Wound' electronic drum loop that he relied on heavily in the mid nineties. Steve Stapleton is the ultimate magpie plagiarist. SO many of his sounds are 'borrowed' from other bands. This is no bad thing, as they're all so fleeting it's hard to get a grip on them. But I always listen to 'Nurse With Wound' thinking I've heard that somewhere before, but can never put my finger on it. Infuriating...

'Faust' re-appear live on the last track 'Hard Rain' with some violently shouted German vocals and heavy drums. It's tuneless of course and is raw, loud and completely out of place on this recording. It does however, slap me in the face and brings me out of my dead man stupor.

This is not a good place to start if you're unfamiliar with either band. It sounds nothing like 'Faust' and there are far better 'Nurse With Wound' albums available.

 C'Est Com... Com... Compliqué by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.41 | 33 ratings

C'Est Com... Com... Compliqué
Faust Krautrock

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Since returning to the public eye in the early 1990s, this legendary Krautrock collective has been a lot more prolific than I would have expected. I remember when Rien hit the shelves, and I thought it was a miracle that such a mercurial and fleeting band (their early 70s heyday lasted just a few years) would actually return to create new music that was, if such a thing is possible, even more far-out than the music for which they achieved their notoriety. But back they were, and Rien was such a difficult listen (lots of abstract noise and lots of silence, even more so than the typical Faust album) that I thought for a while that the band's subsequent releases might not interest me that much, so I stopped following them. However, several years later I took the plunge and found that Faust had indeed returned to the adventurous Krautrock spirit they helped define, and were continuing down their old path while pushing in new directions at the same time.

This album is one of their most sophisticated releases, not exactly accessible, but with a depth and texture that is sometimes lost in their more strident material. The overall mood is somber and subdued, with lots of drones underscoring slow robotic beats, spoken lyrics, and gently buzzing synths. It's not all monochromatic, happily: variety appears in tracks such as "Petits Sons Appetissants", a gently sung waltz with acoustic guitar and piano accompaniment. And it's not all quiet, as the heavy droning pulse of "Bonjour Gioacchino" will attest. The longer tracks, however, are generally quieter and more contemplative than the average Faust tune. I hesitate to say "Faust Lite", but when you consider Faust's legacy, that still allows for some pretty avant garde stuff, and that's in fact what we have here. It's just dressed up in smoother textures than their more "out" albums (e.g. The Faust Tapes).

I think this album would appeal to fans of "So Far" and "Faust IV". It's a great example of Faust's continued vitality in the new millenium. It doesn't try to replicate the music of their past, but it doesn't leave it behind, either. It's a continuation of where they have been going all along, forward along their own path. The fact that they now sound more contemporary than they did in the 1970s is probably evidence that the rest of the music world is only now coming around to the novel ideas they brought to the table so long ago.

 So Far by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 146 ratings

So Far
Faust Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Faust's second album finds the band casting about for something to do after their bizarre debut and not finding much beyond weird for weird's sake. They'd eventually succeed in adapting to shorter songs and creating a sound which is accessible enough for newcomers whilst still retaining their own bizarre attributes on Faust IV; here, we find them fumbling in the general direction of that album but not quite making it. The thing about being a highly experimental rock band is that sometimes experiments, no matter how well-conceived, fail to actually work - and that's the case here a little too often for me to recommend the album to anyone other than collectors.
 Faust by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.85 | 220 ratings

Faust Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Opening with radio static with the strains of the Stones' Satisfaction and the Beatles' All You Need Is Love fading in and out, Faust's debut album sounds chaotic at first listen, but care and dedicated listening reveals the carefully judged compositional calculations underlying everything. Maintaining a shrewd balance between being undauntingly experimental and keeping the listener's interest, it's a radical release which as well as representing the more disciplined and composed end of Krautrock could act as a sort of RIO manifesto when you consider how the experiments on this album would find echoes later in the works of the likes of Henry Cow.
 Faust IV by FAUST album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.92 | 238 ratings

Faust IV
Faust Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Faust IV is an album which veers giddily between two distinct styles. On the one hand, you have a quirky style of highly avant-garde krautrock that must surely have fed into the Henry Cow sound (in fact, Henry Cow's early sound can be summed up as a mashup of the more avant ends of Canterbury and Faust-styled Krautrock - a heady mixture which could have only come about at Virgin). On the other hand, you have whimsical, comedic songs which remind me an awful lot of the work of Kevin Ayers (see The Sad Skinhead, for instance). In other words, it's a mashup of a big heap of prog traditions which were overlooked by the mainstream even when prog itself was mainstream.
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