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Faust — jUSt Us

Faust — Just Us (November 24, 2014)

Germany                    Faust — Just Us 
ΛΔΛ   Pioneering and influential German rock outfit that blended avantgarde electronics and trippy psychedelia to create a radical musical collage.
Formed: 1971 in Wumme, Germany
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Album release: November 24, 2014
Record Label: BUREAU B
Duration:     52:34
Tracks:
01 gerubelt      5:13
02 80hz      5:35
03 sur le ventre      4:33
04 cavaquinho      1:00
05 gammes      4:36
06 nahmaschine      3:13
07 nur nous      3:19
08 palpitations      7:36
09 der kaffee kocht      3:50
10 eeeeeeh...      1:57
11 ich bin ein pavian      3:52
12 ich sitze immer noch      7:50
Details
ΛΔΛ   Special Deal! We'll add a limited and numbered cover print (350g, offset, 21cm * 21cm) to the first 100 orders!
ΛΔΛ   “j US t” — pronounced “Just Us” — is the new album from legendary Hamburg band Faust. Founder members Jean–Hervé Peron and Zappi Diermaier have laid down twelve musical foundations, inviting the whole world to use them as a base on which to build their own music. The tracks presented by Peron and Diermaier are clearly, intrinsically typical of Faust in their own right, yet offer enough space for completely different works to develop. Which is exactly what they hope will happen.
Review by Fred Thomas; Score: ***½
ΛΔΛ   Though absolutely foundational in Krautrock circles (even arguably responsible for naming the genre with a song of the same name on their 1973 album Faust IV), Hamburg collective Faust always existed on the fringes of even Krautrock’s genre–defying experimentalism. While contemporaries like Can, Amon Düül II, and Ash Ra Tempel were pushing outward expansively within the confines of what a rock band was capable of, Faust’s radical manipulation of editing, production, and studio trickery combined with their “anything goes” compositional approach resulted in some of the genre’s most vibrantly diverse albums and set them in a class of their own. Over 40 years later, the madcap spirit that defined the band’s earliest groundbreaking material is alive and well on 2014 album jUSt, aka Just Us. The album isn’t quite the Dadaist collage of earlier works, but somehow captures the same messy spirit of those records while inverting the aesthetic, offering more skeletal compositions that are every bit as wild–eyed in their subtlety. Press releases for Just Us hinted vaguely at the concept of the album being stripped–down foundations for other musicians to build new sounds on top of, and certainly the sonic palette is emptier than usual. “80hz” is little more than repeating figures on upright bass, blasts of discordant organ, waves of fuzz, and spare free–floating percussion, while the band slips into a surprisingly wide–open folky mode on the mandolin–driven “Cavaquiñho” and the spare acoustic strumming of “Gammes.” The album is performed mostly by the duo of founding members Jean–Hervé Peron and Werner “Zappi” Diermaier, concentrating on space in most of these tunes. While the album can feel especially vacant on songs like “Nur Nous,” a haunted sketch of sad piano and the occasional percussion thump, tracks like the lubricated groove of “Sur le Ventre” sound right out of the band’s early–’70s catalog, interspersing tight rock repetitions with found sounds and psychedelic effects. Decades after their freewheeling beginnings, Just Us still shows a picture of a band as playful as it is fearless, willing to pick up any object, idea, or unlikely concept and transform it effortlessly into something strange and captivating.
Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
ΛΔΛ   "There is no group more mythical than Faust," wrote Julian Cope in his book Krautrocksampler, which detailed the pivotal influence the German band exerted over the development of ambient and industrial textures. Producer/overseer Uwe Nettelbeck, a onetime music journalist, formed Faust in Wumme, Germany, in 1971 with founding members Hans Joachim Irmler, Jean Hervé Péron, Werner "Zappi" Diermaier, Rudolf Sosna, Gunther Wusthoff, and Armulf Meifert. Upon receiving advance money from their label, Nettelbeck converted an old schoolhouse into a recording studio, where the group spent the first several months of its existence in almost total isolation, honing its unique cacophonous sound with the aid of occasional guests like minimalist composer Tony Conrad and members of Slapp Happy.
ΛΔΛ   Issued on clear vinyl in a transparent sleeve, Faust's eponymously titled debut LP surfaced in 1971. Although sales were notoriously bad, the album — a noisy sound collage of cut–and–paste musical fragments — did earn the group a solid cult following. Another lavishly packaged work, Faust So Far, followed in 1972, and earned the group a contract with Virgin, which issued 1973's The Faust Tapes — a fan–assembled collection of home recordings — for about the price of a single, a marketing ploy that earned considerable media interest. After Outside the Dream Syndicate, a collaboration with Tony Conrad, Faust released 1973's Faust IV, a commercial failure that resulted in the loss of their contract with Virgin, which refused to release their planned fifth long–player.
ΛΔΛ   When Nettelbeck turned his focus away from the group, Faust disbanded in 1975, and the members scattered throughout Germany. However, after more than a decade of playing together in various incarnations, Faust officially reunited around the nucleus of Irmler, Péron, and Diermaier for a handful of European performances at the outset of the 1990s. In 1993, they made their first-ever U.S. live appearance backing Conrad, followed by a series of other stateside performances. After several live releases, a pair of new studio albums, Rien and You Know FaUSt, followed in 1996.
ΛΔΛ   Péron left the group in 1997. Ravvivando appeared in 1999 with the lineup of Diermaier, Irmler, Steven Wray Lobdell, Lars Paukstat, Michael Stoll, and Amaury Cambuzat (of Ulan Bator). The album received almost universally favorable reviews, prompting more invitations to play festivals and tour. Faust continued releasing new material with this lineup until 2004 when Péron rejoined the group for Trial & Error, a DVD released in 2007 by Fuenfundvierzig Label. Diermaier proposed a "new" Faust to Péron, together with Cambuzat and Olivier Manchion. The new Faust made their debut at the Art–Errorist Avantgarde Festival in Schiphorst, Germany, where they also presented a new release entitled Collectif Met(z), a collection of live, new, and unreleased material. This incarnation of the group released several CD-Rs and DVD-Rs and toured almost continually. From their 2005 U.K. tour they released In Autumn, though it didn't appear until 2007. This band also featured ex-Henry Cow saxophonist/flutist Geoff Leigh, vocalist Lucianne Lassalle, poet Zoë Skoulding, and members of the Welsh group Ectogram.
ΛΔΛ   Former member Uwe Nettelbeck died on January 17, 2007. In April the trio of Diermaier, Péron, and Cambuzat performed at the Rock in Opposition Festival in France and recorded a new studio album entitled Disconnected. C'est Com...Com...Compliqué, the second album from this trio, was issued under the Faust moniker on the Bureau B imprint in 2009, though by 2007 the lineup had changed again — Cambuzat left and was replaced by guitarist James Johnson (Gallon Drunk, Bad Seeds) and former filmmaker turned keyboardist/percussionist/vocalist Geraldine Swayne. In 2010, with the release of Faust Is Last by a group consisting of Irmler, Paukstat, Lobdell, Stoll, and Jan Fride, Faust had actually split into two groups with different lineups sharing the same name. Continuing in that vein, Something Dirty was released on Bureau B by the quartet faction with Diermaier and Péron. In 2014, Peron and Diermaier regrouped with new album jUSt (or Just Us), a collection of sometimes skeletal song structures they offered up with the intention that other musicians use them as foundations on which to build their own creative works. :: http://www.allmusic.com/
Review
ΛΔΛ   “Faust tell of an heroic time when reaching for the stars did not have to include getting the stars in order to be successful.” — Julian Cope
ΛΔΛ   I assume that the $2.00 more than usual price is because this apparently includes a license for you to use the tracks however you want, in whatever way you want.
ΛΔΛ   "Faust for all. The Krautrock legends lay down the musical foundations for everyone else to make something of their own. "j US t" — pronounced "Just Us" — is the new album from legendary Hamburg band, Faust. Founding members Jean–Hervé Peron and Zappi Diermaier have laid down 12 musical foundations, inviting the whole world to use them as a base on which to build their own music. The tracks presented by Peron and Diermaier are clearly, intrinsically typical of Faust in their own right, yet offer enough space for completely different works to develop. ΛΔΛ   Which is exactly what they hope will happen. While Diermaier largely remains true to his habitual handiwork — drums and percussion — Peron, as we might expect, incorporates all manner of unusual sonic sources alongside his bass, various string instruments and piano, even using a sewing machine as a metronome. Tracks like "nur nous" and "ich bin ein pavian" show that Faust have lost none of their predilection for avant–garde Dadaism and improvisation. Peron and Diermaier actually surprise us with folkloristic excursions ("cavaquinho," "gammes"). In short, there is something for everyone to work with here. Peron and Diermaier await the results with bated breath. ΛΔΛ   Faust will follow the same principle on the accompanying tour by inviting local artists to collaborate with them on stage. The history of the band: "There is no group more mythical than Faust." Thus wrote English musician and eccentric Julian Cope. ΛΔΛ   Which says it all really, neither the habitus nor the music of the Hamburg group was easy to grasp. While some lauded Faust as the best thing that ever happened to rock, others dismissed them as shameless dilettantes. Their collage of Dadaism, avant garde rock and free improvisation radically divided opinion. When the first LP was unleashed on the world in 1971, Faust were very much the prophet in their own land, as the saying goes: few were interested in listening to their music — in Germany. Not so across the Channel: this is where Faust's career really kickstarted. These monoliths of avant–garde rock sold 100,000 copies of their album The Faust Tapes. More than 40 years after their debut, Faust have come up with another archetypical album: inspiring, innovative, unpredictable, crossing boundaries, anarchic — Faustian!" :: http://www.waysidemusic.com/
Also:
PAUL PLEDGER, 13/10/2014; Score: 80/100
:: http://www.peek-a-boo-magazine.be/en/reviews/faust-just-us/
Label: http://www.bureau-b.com/faust.php
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Faust — jUSt Us

 

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