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Faust – Faust In Japan

Label: Klangbad Format: VHS

Faust In JapanRecorded (oddly enough) during Faust‘s most recent visit to Japan, this video, despite its brevity at only two pieces with a total length of around eighteen minutes, also gives a good impression of the whole live experience of the band as it now exists. The hulking figure of Zappi Deirmaier, bashing away as the powerhouse of the group on his extensive range of percussion; Joachim Irmler seated at the banked controls of his electric organ; a concrete mixer churning contentedly to itself while the band explode in several directions…

While the music itself is representative enough of the improvised, primal Rock which Faust currently summon from the more unlikely reaches of musique concrète and free noise, the production of the video itself fits wholly into the group’s determinedly unfashionable ethos – layered imagery bleeds disorientlingly from pedestrian crossing stripes into concert to airport terminal to Bullet Train in the foreground of Fuji with the lo-fi methods of genlock and videodecks, slipping in glimpses of mixing desk and ancient consoles – and how better to portray a group who have redefined themselves continuously regardless of fashion, using what equipment suits their purposes for the simple fact that it is available and works. Puzzling, obstreperous and slightly eccentric, Faust In Japan is not so much a documentary as a video postcard, and thanks to its essential honesty, ten times as entertaining as the slickest pop promo could ever be.

-Antron S. Meister-

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