FAUST - A myth that began 50 years ago

27. September 2021

Faust Krautrock

FAUST - Ein Mythos, der vor 50 Jahren begann

Whenever Krautrock is mentioned, the name Faust must also be mentioned. From 1971 onwards, this band created a series of extraordinary albums that remained largely commercially unsuccessful but are all the more artistically valuable. Active again since the 1990s and as innovative as ever, Faust now present the opulent box set "Faust 1971-1974", which, in addition to the first four albums, contains remarkable archive material - including the group's previously unreleased fifth work, recorded in 1974.

"There is no band more mythical than Faust," Julian Cope writes in his book "Krautrocksampler" (1995) about the German band whose works form an indispensable part of the crown jewels of Krautrock - even if they never really got to grips with the term. Werner "Zappi" Diermaier recently replied to the question of whether Faust were Dada or gaga: "Neither. I don't want to name our music anything. Not even Krautrock."

Hamburg in 1970: Jean-Hervé Péron (bass guitar, vocals), Rudolf Sosna (guitar, keyboards, vocals; † 1996), Gunther Wüsthoff (synthesizer, saxophone), Hans-Joachim Irmler (organ), Werner "Zappi" Diermaier (drums) and Arnulf Meifert (drums) form a band that is not named Faust until 1971. What happens in the period from 1970 to 1974 is one of the great Krautrock legends. Music journalist Uwe Nettelbeck († 2007) takes the group under his wing. He tells the record company Polydor, which doesn't know them at all, Faust are the new Beatles, they just need a secluded place where they are undisturbed and have access to a studio and a sound engineer at any time. Polydor agreed, had an old school in Wümme, a small town somewhere between Hamburg and Bremen, converted into a studio with living quarters and provided the band with sound engineer Kurt Graupner. Irmler: "Graupner brought a lot of great ideas with him. [...] He then became a member of the family." Nettelbeck: "Faust had great musical ideas, but they had no idea how to realize them. It was always Graupner who made everything possible."

The only ones who have Faust on their mind and on their spending list at first are the people from Polydor. But Faust are not bathing in money - quite the opposite. So Arnulf Meifert sees the new box as "an opportunity to clear up all this legend nonsense: We weren't rich, didn't drive fast cars, rather the fridge was mostly yawningly empty. We didn't crash and smoke pot all day, nor were we in the RAF." Speaking of drugs: Jean-Hervé Péron is quoted in the new, recommendable Krautrock book "Future Sounds" by Christoph Dallach as follows: "Faust's music was too complex to have been made under drugs. Our craziest ideas sprang from completely lucid minds."

Faust - Live in Wümme - 1971 - Remastered

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