Patchwork Review

David Day

Forced Exposure, 28 Oct 2002

Staubgold | 37 | CD

Can had a double disc of remixes, Neu! got reissued properly after years of bootlegs, Kraftwerk coasts on accolades of hip-hop and electro for nearly two decades, and now Faust gets... another collage album! Well, while the first impulse is to immediately leap back to 1973's The Faust Tapes, which spliced together bits of their Wümme years from 1971-1973 (somehow putting them on the Top Of The Pops radar screen) into a singular listening experience as the band pogoed between noisy patches, gentle pastiches of strummed folk, and percolating tunes courtesy of some heavy tape splicing, it is an incorrect approach to take to this new, restorative work. As the former was a highlight reel of these unreleased moments in time, the newer Patchwork is much more vague, condensing and compressing their entire recorded history, released or otherwise, into a very frantic forty-two minutes.

Here all are rendered as fleeting memories, from the dismissive radio announcer Walter Adler to the giddy tom-thudding of It's a Rainy Day and the flickering nylon strings of Picnic on a Frozen River. Now these moments are just floating past, as if from a near-drowned man's final memories, all mashed into new configurations and relationships to other Faustian sounds from 1971 to the present day. It streams by ever so fast, in thirty second to three minute gasps of breath, and what were once crucial moments on past records are now seen in a new, ephemeral light, bobbing past before a handle can be got on them. To those who want to hold on to the past, this will only conjure up animosity and a sense of retreating water by the three decade-old group. But those who can go with the flow will find an interesting sensation of flooding, and a new perspective on an old favourite.

David Day :: Publicity // Forced Exposure // 226 Lowell St. Somerville, MA 02144-2638 // // // 617.629.4773

David Day, "Patchwork Review", Forced Exposure 2002

ref: Forced Exposure

ref: Staubgold