2002: Faust: Patchwork 1971-2002


CDKlangbad / Staubgold19692 / Staubgold 37
LPKlangbad / Staubgold19691 / Staubgold 37
Double 10" LP


Released: 2002
Recorded: 1971-2002
Edited & Mastered: Hans-Joachim Irmler & Bruno Gebhard
Compiled: Marcus Detmer & Hans-Joachim Irmler
Executive Producer: Markus Detmer
Werner DiermaierDrumsaka. Zappi
Hans-Joachim IrmlerOrgan
Steven Wray LobdellGuitar
Arnulf MeifertDrums
Lars PaukstatPercussion
Jean-Hervé PéronBass
Rudolf SosnaGuitar and Keyboards
Michael StollBass
Gunter WüsthoffSynthesiser and Sax


*Walter Adler0.42
*Stretch Over All Times **2.17
  (aka It's A Rainy Day (Sunshine Girl), Rainy Day, Ice Rain, Rainy Day, Rainy Day, Rainy Day II, Rainy Day Sunshine Girl) 
1971/73, 2000/01
*A 70's Event (edit)2.17
  (aka Krautrock, A 70's Event, Kraut Rock) 
*Rittersleut and Anderes (excerpt 1)3.32
  (aka Ritterslau and Anderes (excerpt 2)) 
*Ayi Ayi1.34
1972/73, 2000
*Psalter (slow) **2.46
  (aka Lauft... Heisst Das es Lauft Oder es Kommt Bald... Lauft, Lauft (Alt), Psalter, 13/8, Psalter (5 May 1994), Psalter) 
1972, 1982, 1997, 2002
*Drone Organ3.35
*Stretch Out2.40
  (aka Stretch Out Time, Do So) 
1972, 2002
1972, 1984
*Ritterslau and Anderes (excerpt 2)2.27
  (aka Rittersleut and Anderes (excerpt 1)) 
*Out of Our Prison4.18




It's A Rainy Day (Sunshine Girl)

It's a rainy day, sunshine girl
it's a rainy day, sunshine baby

Stretch Out Time

Yes, I see
you are the one to be me...
stretch out time, dive into my mind and sign
get answer and hold your dime
but not into the Coco smile
love is really so...
love is really so true



Faust: Patchwork Sleevenotes

"Six months of preparation for a musical experiment and the result is a disaster - for the musicians, naturally. Deutsch Grammaphon got out of it ok. They will refund their investments from advertising and development budgets and so the whole adventure will soon be headlined 'once upon a time...' Uwe Nettelbeck, Faust's 'spiritual father', has neglected his a-musical children - children, who thought they could play the game of the entertainment business and didn't realise that the business played with them." (Walter Adler, 'Gallerie der Entertainer', WDR television, 1971)

Walter Adler's devastating judgement of Faust's live debut (which, compared to the standards of the day, was indeed disastrous - the technology broke down completely) bears witness to the hostility which the group has received in Germany since it's formation. "After a lousy album and much protection on the part of their 'patrons' and their record company, astonishingly they still mustered the courage to produce a second album which proved to be almost as dreadful as the first one," was the verdict the German 'Sounds' music magazine pronounced in their review of Faust's second album So Far (ironically, this album never did get a German release and was only available as an import). Envy, malevolence but probably also a good deal of schadenfraude could have been the drive behind these reactions, since journalist Uwe Nettelbeck, the band's mentor and manager, had closed a sensational deal, which guaranteed Faust a high advance payment plus a complete studio including custom-made equipment for ca. 300,000 Deutschmarks. That they did not deliver an 'acceptable' musical equivalent in answer to these dream-like production circumstances was just too much for many. Faust declined to fulfil the hopes and expectations, that people put in them. The above mentioned concert at the Musichalle in Hamburg was just an extreme example of that attitude.

"We've always liked the idea of releasing records which lacked conventional 'finish' in terms of production... the music should sound like bootlegs, as if recorded by someone who passed a group rehearsing or jamming and then cut the recorded material wildly together." (Uwe Nettelbeck in a statement for the New Musical Express, 1972).

When Richard Branson's newly-founded Virgin label release The Faust Tapes in 1973, listeners for the first time got a true impression of the group's actual potential and what had happened in Wümme musically. In their rural isolation, where the only focus was on themselves, the group went through a complex process of internal structuring and restructuring. Communal living and working had been inseperable for almost three years. During the recording sessions (which were often conducted at night), the band's sound engineer Kurt Graupner had recorded several hundred hours of music. The Faust Tapes were nothing more and nothing less than a hastily compiled sampler drawn from this vast archive of tapes. This was the most 'intentionless' release of the group so far (excuse the pun), and it bore witness of how simultaneously radical and fragile the process of experimentation the group had initiated was. For the first time it became clear that Faust had to be seen not so much as a band but as a process, their music as an incessant flow of form, which could only partly be confined within the borders of an album. Or, as Julian Cope put it: "It was their persistence in the entirety of their trip that makes them so legendary now."

The marketing strategem the up-and-coming Virgin manager Richard Branson had devised to launch Faust (and with it Virgin) fully paid off: The album, available at a dumping price of 49 pence, sold 100,000 copies and led Faust to the top ten of the British album charts. The public was impressed: "The Faust Tapes was the social phenomenon of 1973", wrote Cope in his Krautrocksampler.

But Faust were not able to enjoy the soothing recognition of their music in 'the mother country of pop' for long. A short time before the release of their follow-up Faust IV in 1973, the band fell out with Uwe Nettelbeck who, under pressure from Branson, had sanctioned the semi-finished album for release without asking the band's consent. As a result, Nettelbeck threw in the towel and the band underwent a slow process of fragmentation, during which the individual members returned to Germany one after the other. In 1975, Faust tried one last time to conjure up the spirit of Wümme. During a fortnight of intensive recording at Giorgio Moroder's Musicland studios in Münich, they created their fifth album, Munic and Elsewhere. But Virgin refused to publish the album and so the band was stuck with the costs for the recording. End of first chapter, or: That was the seventies.

At the beginning of the eighties, core members Werner Diermaier, Hans Joachim Irmler and Jean-Hervé Péron picked up the thread again in a little chamber in Helmstorf near Hamburg. It took a while until the machine was running smoothly again, but the spirit of Faust was still there; its members still enjoyed this musical and social experiment. The urge to push the boundaries led to the involvement of younger musicians with the by now remaining original members Irmler and Diermaier.

"In the midst of Faust-muzik time ticks like a bomb." (excerpt from Faust's 1973 tour program).

Like The Faust Tapes, Patchwork documents the flow of Faust's music. But this album is not confined to the usual three years, but stretches over the entirety of Faust's history, from 1971 to 2002. A collage from recordings of all periods discloses the creative energy within Faust. This energy has led them to take in all musical genres like Beat, Free Jazz, Folk and, naturally, Krautrock, digest them and put them together in a unique combination.

Stretch Over All Times quotes thirty years of Faust in less than two minutes. Drums, sounds, piano snippets; their 'hit' It's a Rainy Day even gallops past our ears twice. A longterm snapshot. This is followed by an extract from A Seventies Event, better known as Krautrock from Faust IV. Rittersleut und anderes stems from one of those typical early Wümme sessions. zer:aus comes from the same sessions and documents the band's naive probing of the effects of extreme distortion. Psalter and Stretch Out are familiar tracks in unknown arrangements, while Out of Our Prison weaves almost all recordings from the sessions at Virgin's Manor Studios into a miniature patchwork.

Time, places and individuals dissolve in this 'patchwork'. What remains is Faust.

Faust, "Patchwork Sleevenotes", Klangbad 2002
ref: Staubgold


Jochen Irmler: Mondo Sonora Interview

Mondo: What can you tell me about the release of this compilation and how many time did you expend to find all the pieces of the whole album?

Jochen: I spent years listening to the old tapes, since there are so many of them. So you could really say that this album is the harvest of years of hard listening-work...

Mondo: Which were the principal interests in order to select the songs?

Jochen: Whether we liked them or not and if they represented Faust as they once were and as they now are.

Mondo: What can you find with this compilation, to actualize your situation, to have a little repercusion in the actual music fans?

Jochen: Well, it is designed to give both groups something new. The fact that Staubgold, which is a label which releases almost exclusively lie in the field of what you call 'electronica' shows that Faust's music is also (and still) interesting for 'new' listeners, who come to this music with a different arroach from those listeners we aimed our music at in the 1970s. At the same time, a large part of the album is derived from old tapes, which were recorded in the spirit of those early days. So what we wanted to produce was a hybryd of sorts to form a bridge between now and then, between faust 1971 and faust 2002. And I think we succeeded in this.

Mondo: How many unreleased songs have you that finally cannot be in this compilation?... why they are not here?

Jochen: Do you want that figure in minutes or in meters? Apart from the fact that Faust never recorded 'songs' (as seperate pieces of music devided by an empty grove on a record were called in the old days), but more something like 'tracks' (as this thing is now called in electronic music and by which I understand that what you get does not have a definite ending, but is more like an excerpt from a larger portion of music which often has neither beginning nor end), I cannot name you any figure. And concerning meters and minutes: there is no figure that can name that! Which is why it was such hard work compiling this album - basically, it took me years of listening to the old tapes. But I have always been able to rely on chance to help me...

Mondo: Can we expect new outtakes compilations?

Jochen: Not in the near future. And anyway, it is best never to except anything from Faust. Even I cannot except anything from them!

Mondo: How can you understand your situation like "cult band" for actual musicians?

Jochen: That's something you'd better ask them them. But since you interview me... the way I see it is that music today is more intrigued with sounds, whereas when faust started, it was still intrigued with writing songs. So we were, if you want to call it like that, pioneers (I blush when using that word) for the emancipation of sound, to free sounds out of it's enslavement to given structures, i.e. songs. And that's what we still do today - looking for new sounds. And that's what I think many of the so called electronic bands and musicians do nowadays - looking for new sounds. Like, I know what a guitar sounds like and what an organ sounds like if I just put a microphone in front of them. But let's see what this electronic drill sounds like if I feed the microphone's singnal through a 50's echo-unit and then turn the speed down...

Mondo: Can you see your real influence in actual bands?...

Jochen: I don't listen too much to modern music. To detect Faust's influence in modern bands is a job I leave up to you, i.e. the music journalists!

Mondo: Do you think you apport anything different to the rock music in relationship with aspects brought by bands like Can, Neu!....?

Jochen: I never thought of all these German bands as a unit. When we recorded in Wümme, it was part of the experiment not to listen to other bands. So I didn't know about those bands, I only found out afterwards.

Mondo: Most people told you are a kraut rock band... are you agree?... If your answer is positive, please tell me what common points had you with the other artists?...

Jochen: The way I see it, the term 'Krautrock' was invented by British music journalists to get a sort of label for rock music that came out of Germany at that time. Later, this term was given another perspective by the writings of people like Julian Cope and the like, who seemed to see something mystic in Krautrock. The single unifying factor I see in most of these bands is that they/we wanted to get away from overcome ways of making music, that we were looking for a new form of music ... like the sudents in and after 1968 were looking for new forms to live and organize society and politics... I think what united us is that were were bored and pissed off with those old ways of making music like the generation before us (with which we had our problems, and due to the war, to a much greater extent that any other generation that is disgusted with what the older generations have done wrong - for us, the generation gap was an abyss).

Mondo: It was positive for you?... to be involved into krautrock scene...

Jochen: As I said before, there never was such a thing as a 'Krautrock scene', at least not to my knowledge. I was only involved with Faust and their/our way of making music.

Mondo: How can people in 2002 understand your music? Is the concept still valid or you can be involved into the "post-" bands or something like that....

Jochen: The concept of faust's music is still valid to me, otherwise I wouldn't bother persuing it! If people in 2002 can still understand our music is up to them entirely. If you want an explanation from me, I can only repeat what I've stated before: I think that musicians and audiences pay more attention to sound nowadays... and the that's probably why they still listen to Faust. I gather this is also a driving force behind the so-called 'Post-Rock'-scene (and ask them if they like to be called that...) - from what I heard (or rather overheard) from bands like Tortoise and the like, I reckon that they are more involved in producing sounds than in filling old moulds, i.e. songs. But I might be mistaken, since I do not know too much about them.

Mondo: What do you think about your own music: can we write about "rock" or about "avant-garde" or....?

Jochen: Like it was said in Shakespeare's times: Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. And I say: Genre lies in the ear of the listener. For people who listen to avantgarde (whatever that may be today), it might sound like rock. For rock listeners, it will probably sound like avantgarde (or like some crowd of freaked-out Germans let loose).

Mondo: My oppinion is one of the most interesting thing in Faust music and Faust world is that you had something like a "concept" behind your sound...

Jochen: If our concept of sound was the 're-invention of sound itself', I would agree. But I have always found that concepts are bound to annihilate themselves if they are not flexible enough to adapt to new surroundings and situations. It may be that the first thing that we found when we tried to put our concept of Faust's music into action in the first months at W�mme was that we had to abolish that concept, otherwise it would have stifled the music. There was always an idea behind our music, we knew about some hazy goal we wanted to achieve, but concepts to me have always proven to be to rigid to pres music into them. The way I see it, the best concepts are those, that establish themselves AFTER the creative work is done!

Jochen Irmler, "Mondo Sonora Interview", Mondo Sonora 2002


David Day: Patchwork Review

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


Ralf Bei der Kellen: Patchwork 1971 - 2002

Staubgold | 37 | CD

It's been a busy year for Faust. First they released Freispiel, a remix-album of tracks from the Ravvivando LP, then First Steps, a compilation of other artists affiliated to their Klangbad label, and now Patchwork, a collection of original tracks spanning the years from Fausts' birth right up to the present. But faust wouldn't the avantgarde sound-terrorists we know and appreciate if they had just compiled some old tapes. Like so many of his contemporaries frequently do, Faust's matermind Hans-Joachim Irmler simply could have scraped the barrel once more. But this is far from it. Irmler jumped at the chance and produced his own 'remix' of 30 years of faust and presents us with a concise, 42min long aural tour de force through the history of the musical and social experiment that Faust was (and still is). Some tracks have been left as they were, some have been remixed, while others have been combined with other vintage or even new material, so that the recording of this album represents the long continuos process that forms the history of this band. That this record is released by the Cologne-based Staubgold-label, who have hitherto established a sound reputation (pardon the pun) for electronic music is a definite statement. The electronic music scene pays tribute to one of its earliest protagonists. From the very beginning, Faust undertook to break down preconceived notions of sounds and strove to produce new, original (or at least unusual) sounds. And of these we get quite a lot on this record. From the very first sounds, this record asks its listener: Can you pass the faust-test? Monotonous drums, electric drills, Proto-Punk, Jazz-rock and two chords on an acoustic guitar - after half the album a listener new to the universe of Faust is probably so confused that he/she won't be sure if the pause track is a homage to John Cage's 4'33" or just a simple pause track. Faust demonstrate that now as then they are able to indulge in the most extreme of sound-experiments, since they were a band who simply knew no barriers, whose will to experiment propelled them further and further into uncharted territory, where their contemporaries (and, one must add, also their post-modern and seemingly uninhibited colleagues of today) did not dare to venture. Patchwork can be seen as a worthy descendent of the legendary Faust Tapes - with the difference that here, Faust give the screw one more turn, as if to see how much of that experiment they or their audience can stand. What Irmler produced is uneasy listening of the most inspiring kind. I've always loved Faust for their ability to shake the foundations of one's hardened understanding of what music is and how it should sound. The word 'compromise' was never in Faust's dictionary. They only were one thing: Faust. And this job they did better than anyone else.

Ralf Bei der Kellen, "Patchwork 1971 - 2002", Intro 2002
ref: Staubgold


Paul Donnelly: Patchwork

I have to admit that now Faust are, probably, no longer a touring band I must rely solely on their studio recordings to feed a habit formed in the early 1970s. Their sound may have mutated from the early days to the vast, churning soundscapes of their live work such as Edinburgh 1997 and Faust Wakes Nosferatu. What it retains however is its uniqueness. There is no other sound like the one they make. So the releases keep coming. This year has seen the Ravvivando remixes aka Freispiel and now something that, at first, looks like a long overdue successor to The Faust Tapes. Very different to the remixes.

Here are ghostly fragments from the Wumme school house where this bunch of anonymous, driven musicians gathered. It is then mixed with shreds of their short sojourn at Virgin and, in some cases, snippets of more recent recording adventures. The cd is what the title suggests and it is all knit together in a fairly seamless and Faustian way. So, a disembodied piano collides with speeded up bells as someone operates a small industrial implement and those curiously mid-Atlantic voices once again chant It's a rainy day, sunshine girl. They revisit the glorious sonic grinding of Krautrock in the edit version of A Seventies Event and follow it up with a slab of krautrock for the 21st century, Nervous. It is a manic thrash for speeding pogo moshers and reminds me why their combination of guitar/organ/drums never sounded like anyone else. A piece of pure electric energy with punk vocal attitude. And these guys are no longer spring chickens. Its date is 2001 but it could have come, in part, from 1971-4.

Out of the glare of their electric thrashings comes the two chord acoustic guitar of Duo. It doesn't go anywhere or lead into a song. It simply is. That's it. A Faust Tapes moment that then drifts into a concentrated slice of spoof jazz, veering from echoing lounge piano stylings to free jazz trumpet and still only lasts 2.22 minutes. And when they call a track Drone Organ you can be pretty sure that's what it will be but at one moment it sounds like fifty organs in a dark underground space then it swirls off into some other space entirely. I don't know how Hans-Joachim Irmler does it either but I'm grateful that he does. He features in a more ethereal mode too on Elegie.

One of my favourite moments from The Faust Tapes was the bit that is generally known as Stretch Out Time, here it becomes just Stretch Out and apart from those Germanic-Atlantic vocals there is tantalisingly brief outburst of Gunter Wustoff's sinewy sax. There is simply not enough of it on record. I had to go back to Giggy Smile for an extra helping.

So, at times it may sound like a series of eerie nods back through three decades to their first assaults on anyone within listening distance but it is also a more considered collage that continues a line of experiment and develops it. They may have inspired others to follow but in their own strange and timeless way they do it best themselves.

Paul Donnelly, "Patchwork Review", Tangents 2002
read the text of the full article here
ref: Tangents


Mason Jones: A Tribute to Three Decades of Experimentation

As the album name implies, this is indeed a patchwork of recordings from the ground-breaking Faust. Original members Markus Detmer (sic) and Hans Joachim Irmler ransacked the band's archives to extract material spanning the group's 30 years of audio terrorism. These pieces, unsurprisingly, span a wide range of styles, from sound collage to fuzzed-out jams, and even occasional noise-drone. But thankfully, the results don't sound at all random.

Faust's story has become more familiar over the past few years, primarily due to their reappearance on the scene with albums released in the mid-90s by the Table of the Elements label. Their surprisingly anarchic live shows in the U.S., together with the Jim O'Rourke-produced album Rien, brought their name to the attention of a new generation. And when that new audience sought out the group's earlier recordings, there found a pleasant surprise - not only did these records avoid passé, their lively experimentation still sounded exciting.

What happens when you give a bunch of freaks the financial freedom to run riot in an expensive recording studio? Well, the results could be complete rubbish, of course, but in Faust's case they used the money from a new Virgin Records and created influential masterpieces of rough-hewn avant-rock experimentation. Albums like Faust, So Far, and particularly Faust Tapes spewed a combination of rock, free jazz, and even early electronic otherworldiness that, while occasionally lacking cohesion, set an example that's still a challenge to artists today.

Like the aforementioned Faust Tapes album from 1973, Patchwork is an album drawn from the band's collection of recordings, carefully edited to offer an ever-changing soundscape. One moment the band will be rocking out (see Nervous), then the next you'll be drawn into a world of drone and decay (see Drone Organ). While most of the pieces are internally cohesive, some are pure collages of disparate recordings, such as Stretch Over All Times, which takes the sounds of a dining room combined with an industrial drill, fading into metallic tolling bells which then segue into an excerpt from the band's early song It's A Rainy Day.

The album has been constructed in a thoughtful fashion, avoiding the risk that the various pieces would end up feeling like a mishmash of disconnected excerpts. Instead, this is like a travelogue of sorts, a bit of this and a bit of that connected by clever segues and proceeding in a seemingly natural fashion. Additionally, the cohesion here owes a great deal to the fact that Faust, over three decades, have remained true to their playful spirit of experimentation. The result is the rather amazing fact that the same band, 30 years later, has changed enough to not feel like an ancient artifact while still sounding true to what they were doing on their first recordings. Needless to say, it's difficult to think of any other bands about whom the same can be said.

Some of the highlights here include the excellent pure '73 krautrock of A Seventies Event (edit) and the terrific guitar-led jam from 1971, Rittersleut &Anderes, represented by two excerpts. It features some fiery fuzz-guitar soloing that requires study by many contemporary psych-rock outfits. Then there's the blindingly heavy Zerr:Aus from 1971, showing that harrowing noise-rock like Skullflower has its predecessors, and the odd Barrett-esque psych-pop of Stretch Out.

Nervous is one of the most recent tracks, a guitar rock song that brings home Faust's ahead-of-their-time role. It sounds as current as any indie rock (check that killer wah moment), while also sounding so similar in feeling to some of their earlier work that it helps make clear just how much Faust's 70's recordings presaged current musical events. As another example of their forward-thinking philosophy, check out the eerie, creepy collage work of Out of our Prison, the last track on the album. If you play this for someone without telling them what it was, I very much doubt anyone would guess that it dates from 1974.

One element that really helps make this collection work is the band's courage to add new sounds to existing recordings. The result is pieces like Stretch Out, based on a song from 1972 but augmented with additional new sounds; likewise Ironies, a collage of recordings from 1972, 1982, 1997, and 2002. Rather than consider the original recordings to be somehow holy and untouchable, Detmer, Irmler, and fellow editor Bruno Gebhard applied the same experimentation to the old as to the new. While the spirit of the originals remains intact, the willingness to continue the playfulness while creating this album contributes greatly to the listenability and cohesion.

Perhaps the best praise one can bestow on Patchwork 1971-2002 is the seeming irrelevance of its 30-year construction. If this had all been recorded by a new group this year, it would still be very impressive and enjoyable. That it's evidence of Faust's ongoing journey as they proceed into their fourth decade is merely icing on the cake.

Mason Jones, "Patchwork Review", Dusted 2002
ref: Dusted
ref: Dusted: Patchwork


Chris Jones: Patchwork Review

Faust were always ahead of the game. Like all the greats in the avant rock fraternity, they came complete with weird tales aplenty. Not least being writer/manager/producer Uwe Nettlebeck's success in getting the band carte blanche with Polydor in 1971 (their own studio in Wümme, engineer and a year to come up with an album) and the fact that The Faust Tapes, retailed by a fledgling Virgin label at 49 pence, has to be a contender for the most widely heard piece of musique concrete, excepting the Beatles Revolution #9.

Faust's working methods underpinned a breathtakingly fecund environment where pleasure was found in juxtaposition, distortion and naivety. Remember, these guys coined the term Krautrock, and rarely has improvisation been such an integral part of a band's raison d'etre. Yet don't be misled, none of this comes across as amateurish. It sounds as deliberate as one of Kylie's middle eights and you can't help but be struck by how listenable it all is.

So here are 20 reasons why these wayward Teutonic knights of knoise still remain essential. True to form (and similar in construction to the aforementioned Faust Tapes) Patchwork collects material from every Faustian period. In combining snippets from the early Wümme years, the Virgin Manor period and all subsequent projects, long-serving member Hans Joachim Irmler has honoured all criteria for a trip to the planet formerly known as Far Out.

Nothing is sacred; everything is divine. No track hangs around for longer than 4 minutes (though somehow you know they're undoubtedly continuing to this day in some parallel dimension). Even a song such as Duo, squeezing profundity from two chords resists the term minimalist by sounding unequivocally like a Faust recording. Much of this is down to the rough but polished engineering by ex-Deutsche Grammophon engineer Kurt Graupner and his legendary little black boxes. Instrumentation loses definition through studio alchemy to the point where Ironies sounds like the original horns tearing the walls of Jericho apart, molecule by molecule. But who can say what's really being played here? Points of recognition only occur in places where old material resurfaces, as on Stretch Over All Times which features the old chestnut It's A Rainy Day.

All styles are served here. A delicate piano mutates into free jazz territory on Jassie, yet comparisons are odious. Nervous gives Detroit garageland a run for its money but Patchwork is best heard as a fabulous whole. Like some reliable DIY krautrock fix-all, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Patched together from one of musical history's most thrilling cornucopias of taped sound; this Faust is truly a piece of work.

Chris Jones, "Patchwork Review", BBC Online 2002
ref: BBC Online
ref: BBC: Patchwork


Adam Sweeting: Patchwork Review

Opening with a devastatingly negative review (in German) of Faust's live debut in 1971, Patchwork dips into the group's 30-year commitment to un-pop to assemble a sonic collage that "discloses the creative energy within Faust", according to the ineptly translated sleeve note.

Faust haven't pursued a 'career' so much as a monastic creative vocation, a social experiment mirrored in the apparently haphazard splinters of their recordings. From the naive folkisms of Psalter or Stretch Out to the unrelenting noise of Rittersleut and Anderes or the turbine hum of Tourbotrain, Faust have approached their work as a free forum of ideas rather than conforming to somebody else's preconceptions.

Let other people join 'the business' or make 'albums' - Faust preferred communal self-determination and random home-made bootlegs. That doesn't mean you have to like it, but music this stark and astringent seems astonishing in these rigidly conformist times.

Adam Sweeting, "Patchwork Review", Guardian Online 2003
ref: Guardian Review