Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Faust - Faust Party 3 Extracts #2

(Recommended, 1980)

During Faust’s retirement period, outtakes from the early ’70s trickled out on a series of generally interesting EPs and LPs released by the Recommended label. This hand-colored and hand-stamped 7” is one of the earliest, and it shows off the band’s dual tendencies of either pounding a melody/riff into the ground or absolutely refusing to stay in the same place musically for more than a few instants. “Extract 2” (also called “J’ai Mal Aux Dents”) is the same acoustic guitar, drum part, and vocal chant repeated for seven minutes, with heavy waves of distortion and narration weaving in and out of the song. Hypnotic, catchy, and rhythmically light on its feet, it would have fit well on the relatively accessible So Far or Faust IV. A bit closer to the hyperactive cut-up styles of the band’s first and third albums, “Extract 6” (a.k.a. “Lieber Herr Deutschland”) begins with a field recording of a student protest, explodes into a freeform freakout from which a stoner-Kraut groove emerges, gets chopped apart in a brief tape-manipulation section, and then closes with a Floyd-style relaxo-jam. At under five minutes, it’s a maddening simulation of being stuck in a car with a compulsive radio-knob spinner. Pieces like this work better when stretched over a full album, as on the debut LP, but, even if it is frustrating to hear them presented in collage form, the individual elements of “Extract 6” are at least interesting glimpses at studio sketches.

This material, and all of the label’s companion releases, ended up (sometimes with new titles) on the five-disc Wumme Years box set in 2000, by which time Faust was again putting out new, still-unclassifiable records. Many of those – particularly You Know FaUSt, Faust Wakes Nosferatu, Ravvivando, and the untitled “gold” album – stand up surprisingly well next to the original lineup’s work and make for good supplements to the must-have box.

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