Faust Tapes / Faust Party Tapes Review

Stuart Maconie

Q Magazine, 1996

With the new found interest in 'Krautrock' - sorry, but it was the '70's - it's a propitious time for reissues from the Hamburg collective who gave new meaning to the notion of 'far out'. The Faust Tapes was originally available in an inspired Virgin marketing campaign of the early-'70's for 49 new pence ("bringing the avant garde into your living room" in Julian Cope's words) and then as now, is riveting and extraordinary. A single studio suite where, in disorientating cuts and dissolves, plangent ballads become dub dreamscapes, garage punk evolves into modernjazz and eventually into the unknowable.

Boffins often speculate on the possibility of all the matter in the universe condensing into a hyperdense object the size of a golfball. Imagine this happening to music and you have The Faust Tapes. 71 Minutes Of... (a merger of two long deleted albums) is more placidly organic but just as challenging. A new album is out in the States and a UK performance is promised this year.

Stuart Maconie, "Faust Tapes / Faust Party Tapes Review", Q Magazine 1996