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Faust – jUSt

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Faust - jUStAfter the joys of  Something Dirty comes this new nugget of curiosity from the Péron/Zappi  side of the Faust spilt. Entitled  j US t (clever typographic minimalism for Just Us), it’s a twelve-track sketchbook of improvised  flavours and some full-bodied wallop that Faust say should be taken, absorbed and remixed into your own musical endeavours.

There’s certainly plenty of fertile nooks and crannies to get your teeth into after all, lots of diverting schismatics to bend your grey cells around, rich pickings that fire on all cylinders from the offset as “Gerubelt”‘s bass(y) tensions and percussive bankings exploding in a colourful peacock of sliding angles, at its heart a strange germ of melody trying to hold on for dear life as crowning guitars dart in stratospherics wounded in swiping pepper-crank smarts.

An opener that sends your eyes in queasy multiples, before “80hz” bowls you contrasting abstracts. A slightly jazzy junkyard monstrously blended into a brief noisy avant stew, a good prelude to the clanking scaffolding and bass chug incentives of “Sur Le Ventre.” Now when Faust hit it, they really HIT IT and this rhythmic wonder is solid testimony that slides like a robust builder in a chaffing Torvill and Dean outfit, Péron sending French sweet nothings flowing through as the whole caboodle delivers much head-nodding goodness.

From here things tangent-shift in unexpected directions; it’s a boomerang Faust have been throwing at us since ’71 and here it’s firstly a brief foray into folksy mandolin, then a medieval-like hobbyhorse of “Gammes” playing brohan croquet with the queen of hearts. A lilt that brings to mind Silver Apples‘ “Seagreen Serenades” with inquisitive itchings of Robbie Basho. Those bouncing percussions, wholesome tremors to some saltarello-like courtliness (boys, if you’re reading, a whole album of this, pretty please). Sewing machine stitching re-addresses the status quo in “Nähmaschine,” its assorted shapes bending around the titter-tat purr, with twilight-fed top frets ear-wavering their glinting luxuries, flowing out on a horizon of hemline.

“Nur Nous”‘s weevils are more sparsely fed, piano-spanned silence, the odd kettled drumage. Real minimal candy whose betweens are sticky with natural reverb and echoing metallurgics until a mentally-injured ivory and ebony is slipping into drummed pockets like loose change in Charlie Chaplin‘s trousers. The flat-line hum of “Palpitations” eases the damage, spittle-licked in fragmentary daggers before being knocked into an osculating purr. A texturing that quickly picks up an escort of bouncy percussion and guitar zither, until a deliciously big metal CLANG sends heli-stuttering reverberations through, to which Zappi  gemini(s) an enthusiastic pitter-pat of tribal pow-wows. It really does seem like an album of sonic oddness, here noir-chewed in loose skinned recoils and key tonics, splashed in flanged jet streams that seem to  rip at a sticky-backed-plastic sky.

Faust are great DIY enthusiasts and on “Der Kaffe” it sounds like they’ve pitched a recording session at B&Q as they mine the rythmic wonder out of sawing through some tubular plastic. Blurring serrations complimented by toffee hammer taps that give me brief reminiscences of that wood-sawing and synth wind interlude on Amon Duul II‘s “Wolf City” until it falls to the floor in a numb clatter.  In contrast to all this rampant foolery, “Eeessseech” gives us a brief taste of divine melody — a swan-song of sliding trumpet lightly bathed in a steady spine of drums and really pliable bass. An all too brief sketch imbued with a lovely laidback slant that yachts your head brilliantly like “C Pluus” on 1996’s You Know faUSt album.

“Ich Bin Pavian” (roughly translated as “I am a baboon”) takes “Eeessseech”‘s underbellied chug and repurposes it into a strange staggering of sub-woofer-ridge played out in shingle, brittle sticks and breezy kettles. Péron feeding the pigeons further in, venting German, like some wide eyed Adolf Wolfli, his words a dancing bladder on a jester stick. An amusing appeaser that rolls out on junkyard flavours and makes way for the delicate fancies of “I’m Still Sitting” that closes the album’s proceedings. Its loose limbs lightly stapled in percussive shadows and sun-soaked simplicity, frets countered in bassy beams, the odd metallic slam. The big easy lightly booming the hypnotic mellow caught in a sudden summer downpour, bringing back “Meadow Meal”‘s brief thunderstorms, distant flavours that I’m going to have to reacquaint myself with. A sure sign that you’ve just listened to a great addition to the discography.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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