Although this DVD was released in late 2010, the footage – shot at the second annual festival held in Scheer, southern Germany- dates from 2005. Scheer is a small provincial town that since the late 90s has been the headquarters of Faust (or rather one of the two Faust factions, this being the one grouped around keyboardist Jochen Irmler and the Klangbad label). There are actually two films on the disc- a 70 minute record of Faust’s performance at the event, and a slightly longer film titled Avant-Garde in the Meadows which gives an overview of the festival’s three days.
The Faust performance features the aforementioned Jochen Irmler and one other figure from the group’s early ’70s origins, Arnulf Meifert, apparently absent from Faustian circles for many years before
Continue reading Faust – Live at Klangbad Festival/Various Artists – Avant-Garde in the Meadows [...]
Ok, as most of the people reading this will know Faust were one of the most important bands of the 1970s Krautrock movement and have an incredible important body of work behind them. Also at this moment in time there appears to be two Fausts, so this is Jean Hervé Péron and Zappi W Diermaier’s Faust aided and abetted by Gallon Drunk‘s James Johnston and Bender’s Geraldine Swayne.
So that all cleared up, let’s get down to the music on offer. Album opener “Tell The Bitch To Go Home” is a three chord blues workout that to be fair would not have sounded out of place on an early Gallon Drunk album. Think “Some Fools Mess” without the dynamics. It has the feel of a studio jam and doesn’t seem to really gravitate beyond that and develop
Continue reading Faust – Something Dirty [...]
Faust were the most radical and baffling of all the 70s German groups to acquire the ‘krautrock’ label. Their music was only tangentially related to the likes of Amon Düül, Can, or NEU! - on the group’s early albums, musique concret, tape loop experiments, folky guitars, parping saxophones, proto-industrial noise and impenetrable dadaistic lyrics all rub up each against each other in an endlessly fascinating musical and conceptual stew. Ambiguously poised between playful and aggressive, and containing almost no information on personnel or context to allay the listener’s perplexity, these albums remain some of the most challenging and rewarding of the 70s.
From around 1976 onwards, however, the group lay apparently dormant save for very occasional live performances by various members, before being reactivated at the start of the 90s by a trio of original alumni: organist and electronics
Continue reading Faust – Is Last [...]
Pop Montréal, Ukrainian Federation, Montréal 3 October 2009
The gathering krautrock-keen fans filled both levels of the seated, community-centre vibe auditorium known as the Ukrainian Federation which has hosted the likes of Patti Smith, Joanna Newsom, Loudon Wainwright III, and A Silver Mt. Zion. For Faust’s first ever show in Canada, heralding their entrance, Jean-Hervé Peron started by squawking and squealing on a trombone from the back of the hall before hopping on stage with drummer Zappi Diermaier (a forbidding presence and the original Faust percussionist), James Johnston (synth and guitar wizard and co-founder of Gallon Drunk) and Geraldine Swayne (vocalist, guitarist and multi-talented member). Before long, on a brightly lit stage, the definitive beat was established within the psychedelic jam that would soon be interrupted by lush clouds of French/German ditties, which were then overlapped with industrial meanderings.
The mood was largely light, loose and informal and not as much
Continue reading Faust (live at Pop Montréal) [...]
The Schiphorst 2008 CD is a live album, recorded at the festival held quite literally in the rural backyard of founder member Jean-Hervé Péron, and is as ramshackle as you like. The tone is set by the packaging, which successfully conveys a flavour of the event – the front cover photo depicts a microphone struggling for visibility amid dense clouds of stage smoke, and elsewhere in the case and inserts we get to see one of Faust’s customised old cement mixers standing in a state of magnificent decay in the farmyard, the festival’s ticket office (a brightly painted wooden shack), and a large female pig named Lilli-Sau munching hay in her enclosure. Having perused all this, it’s no great surprise to find that the band’s performance in this setting was raw and unvarnished,
Continue reading Faust – Schiphorst 2008 [...]
Label: Klangbad Format: CD,LP
If any band is ripe for some re-mixing, it is Faust. The elements that combine to form their music have already been through a process involving a stripping down, transformation and reformation both in the studio and in ‘live’ performance. To offer these elements to those who are influenced by and in sympathy with Faust’s working methods seems an ideal situation for both translation and homage.
These remixes of some of the 1999 CD Ravvivando do revitalise an already powerful album and each remixer offers an idiosyncratic take which, in most cases, enhances the original. For example, there are three versions of “T-Electronique” and all show an affinity with the original whilst delivering something fresh. Mathias Schaffhauser‘s remix opens the album with a sinuous bass groove stretching the rhythm and shifting the textures of the percussion. It
Continue reading Faust – Freispiel [...]
Royal Festival Hall, London 12 October 2001
Given that this appearance by Faust marks both their 100th live performance since the group’s reformation in 1993 and possibly their final show, it’s somehow appropriate that the emergency services soon became involved once again. Part of the reason for the group deciding to call it a day live lies with the toll thirty years of pounding percussion, tossing television sets around and beating the rhythmic crap out of scrap metal has taken on Zappi Diermaier, and spinal problems are not so easily shrugged off.
So it’s a little disappointing to report that the Royal Festival Hall is far from full for the end of an era and a tour which has been similalrly slowly-attended – apparently, this may be partly due to a
Continue reading Faust (live) [...]
Royal Festival Hall South Bank Centre, London 25th October 2000
Faust were originally asked to improvise a live score to F.W. Murnau‘s classic expressionist retelling of the Dracula story for an outdoor vampire film festival in Germany a few years back. For some reason the promotors asked them to perform to the silent film twice on the same bill; the generators failed, rain loomed, disaster threatened. Still, they survived the experience, recorded an album as Faust Wakes Nosferatu, and made a few more performances as time allowed. Now, as the last of the Outro series marking the departure of David Sefton from the artistic helm of the South Bank Centre, Faust open the first night of their gruelling UK tour of the show in the Royal Festival Hall.
Bringing up the introduction to the film itself, the band settle into a warming-up routing of metal percussion, organ swarms, plucked and
Continue reading Faust Wakes Nosferatu [...]
South Bank Centre, London 27-29th May 2000
Now semi-permanently established at the South Bank for the past few years, the LMC Experimental Music Festival has become one of the fixtures of the London Improv and New Music scene, struggling through into something approaching mainstream cultural acceptance – though that’s a relative position of course. This isn’t to say that its become particularly watered down, blanded out or easily commercial; far from it, and while not everything will be pleasing to all ears, it neither should be nor could be, and much on offer is is such high quality that a few dull spots can easily be avoided by those disinclined to favour one piece of Avant-noodling will soon find another of superb quality for their edification and enjoyment.
Ninth time around, and Saturday’s Purcell Room show has two extreme of that which can be described as experimental – Die Trip
Continue reading London Musicians’ Collective Ninth Annual Festival of Experimental Music [...]
After The Deluge
29th May 2000
Jean-Hervé Péron is best known as the former de facto front man for Faust, a group he sometimesseemed to embody the group’s chaotic lunacy for in his onstage antics with chainsaws and naked painting sessions. Following his traumatic personal split with the band after their early Nineties re-emergence, Peron spends his time raising horses and children on his small farm near Hamburg.
For years there were rumours that he would return with a rival group, an Anti-Faust to seal the rancour; instead, his first London show as a live performer took place in May 2000 at The South Bank Centre as a surprise performer in the Ninth Annual Festival of Experimental Music put on by the London Musicians Collective. Before the gig, Jean-Hervé took time to talk to Freq about his musical career, before, during and after the legendary Faust years.
Continue reading An interview with Jean-Hervé Péron [...]
Irregular #5 The South Bank Centre, London 8th-10th April 1999
The last five to ten years have seen an exponential rise in the number of intriguing events at London’s premier Arts Council-funded cultural centre on the South Bank of the River Thames, thanks to an innovative booking policy and the success of the events themselves, expanding the venue beyond its associations with Radio 3 “serious” music concerts and other more traditionally high-culture performances into the staging of events such as the London Musician’s Collective’s Annual Festival of Experimental Music and the recent Atari Teenage Riot gig which resulting in the closure of the venue due to crowd over-enthusiasm. Following on from the Meltdown series of festivals held each year, with past guest directors including Laurie Anderson and John Peel (this year’s is Nick Cave), Daniel Miller, founder and head of Mute Records, was invited to draw up his wish-list for
Continue reading Daniel Miller’s Mini-Meltdown Festival [...]
A Splendid Chaos
28th October 1998
Faust have been a legendarily chaotic group since their origins as a kind of experiment in the creation of an anti-rock band in the early Seventies. Nearly thirty years on they remain as surprising and unpredictable as ever, live or on record, as they have throughout their erratic career, as Antron S. Meister witnessed at their London gig at The Garage on October 25th, and in the venue’s Mini-Bar bar on the rainy afternoon before, where the following interview took place. As with Faust’s music, conventional structures and transparent answers should not be expected.
Hans Joachim Irmler Werner “Zappi” Diermaier
Other Faust members not present at the interview:
Steven W. Lobdell – Guitar Michael Stoll – Bass, contra-bass and flute Ché Clément – Spiritual adviser and noise Lars Paukstat – Noise Till von Hoffman – Tour manager and noise
Continue reading A Splendid Chaos – an interview with Faust [...]
Label: Klangbad Format: VHS
Recorded (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
Continue reading Faust – Faust In Japan [...]