Faust vs Dälek Sleevenotes

Ralf Bei der Kellen

Staubgold, Mar 2004

What do Faust and Bob Dylan have in common? Well, both have been in the music business for over 30 years now and still manage to surprise their fans with each new album. In the description of their music, the adjective 'unpredictable' crops up frequently. On Derbe Respekt, Alder Faust surprise their fans by joining forces with American hiphop-artists Dälek.

Faust vs Dalek: Derbe Respect, AlderDälek are a three-piece hiphop-outfit from New Jersey. Will Brooks (a.k.a. MC Dälek) is responsible for lyrics, Alap Momin (a.k.a. The Octopus) is the producer and Hsi-Chang Linaka (a.k.a. Still) handles the turntables. Their open-mindedness towards musical influences was boundless from the beginning and so it is small wonder that they soon hit on German Krautrock-survivors Faust as a source for interesting samples. Through a mutual acquaintance they sent a CD to Faust's Klangbad-label. Co-founder Hans-Joachim Irmler was so impressed with it that he decided to release their album From The Filthy Tongues Of Gods And Griots on Klangbad. He also invited the band to record at the label's own studio. Once there, it turned out that the musical grounds both bands covered was identical in large parts. Dälek's noisy loops (in which they bury tiny melodies) and their penchant for LOUD!ness have their counterparts in Faust's sound. Thus a collaboration seemed logical. In the course of two years the three sessions which spawned the music on this album took place. The high point of these saw the two outfits appearing side by side on stage at the Bonn Bad Klibi-festival 2003 in Switzerland. What Dälek and many of their hiphop-contemporaries express through words - protest against and rejection of the social status quo - is exactly what Faust have expressed trough music during the last 30+ years. Consequently, this album is nothing for the faint-hearted, its music is merciless, straight in your face, at times even brutal. At times it sounds like harsh Industrial or 'Illbient'. Some of the sounds seem to have a direct connection to those produced by the machines Luigi Russolo built in the second decade of the last century. With them, the futurist imitated the sounds of his surroundings and times (cars, aeroplanes, machines, the city, etc). Like him, Faust and Dälek rap and play the world they are part of and which is not always sunny and bright. The instrumental opening track for example sounds like heavy artillery fire, Faust and Dälek crank their volumes up to, er, 11. In the second track, the combination of Faust's apocalyptic sound and the hiphop-lyrics of Will Brooks sounds like the soundtrack to a modern film noir, which mirrors the alienated life of ghetto-dwellers. The album's final track is an update of T-Electronique, a track originally released on Faust's 1999 album Ravvivando. Dälek lend the song additional lyrics and shoot it through with samples, so that it sounds like a remix of the original. From this perspective Derbe Respekt, Alder could be seen in a straight line with the remix-idea of the last two Faust-records Freispiel and Patchwork.

On Derbe Respekt, Alder, Dälek are showing their respect to Faust - as it is common in hiphop. This collaboration blesses the 'elder' Faust with a second youth. Their sound on Respekt is crude like a wrecking ball and thudding like a pile-driver. This is probably the hardest and most uncompromising music Faust ever made.

Ralf Bei der Kellen, "Faust vs Dälek Sleevenotes", Staubgold 2004

ref: Dälek

ref: Staubgold