1973: Faust: The Faust Tapes


Images: Press Clippings: The Faust Tapes


1980LPRecommendedRR 6


Released: 1973
Recorded: Wümme, 1971 - 1973
Werner DiermaierDrumsaka. Zappi
Engineer: Kurt Graupner
Hans-Joachim IrmlerOrgan
Arnulf MeifertDrums
Producer: Uwe Nettelbeck
Rudolf SosnaGuitar and Keyboards
Gunter WüsthoffSynthesiser and Sax


This track listing is taken from the version of the Tapes in the Wümme Box set

*Exercise 1 **0.52
*Exercise 2 **0.21
click to play...Flashback Caruso4.01
  (aka Silver Machine / Flashback Caruso, Caruso, Caruso) 
*Exercise 3 **1.48
click to play...J'ai Mal Aux Dents7.14
  (aka Party 2, Schempal Buddah, Schempal, Schempal Buddha) 
*Untitled 11.03
*Untitled 2 **1.42
*Dr Schwitters #1 **0.25
*Exercise 4 **1.11
*Untitled 31.18
*Untitled 40.50
*Dr Schwitters #2 **0.49
*Untitled 5 **1.03
*Untitled 6 **0.47
*Untitled 7 **1.33
*Untitled 8 **2.18
*Untitled 9 **0.34
*Untitled 10 **0.51
*Untitled 11 **1.15
*Untitled 122.28
*Untitled 130.20
*Untitled 141.13
*Untitled 150.59
click to play...Stretch Out Time1:35
  (aka Do So, Stretch Out) 
click to play...Der Baum3.49
click to play...Chère Chambre3.07
  (aka Viel Obst, Viel Obst) 




Flashback Caruso

When you leave your place
and walk in someone others garden
suddenly you see
it's a warming colour in your mind to be

It's only a garden made of sandwich
marshmallows jumping around and smiling quiet
inside a stone of cream there is a language
bring our minds together, press them tight

The rainbow bridge sounds flashbacks of Caruso
beyond eleven dreams are dancing girls
for everything you feel there is a do so
your mind it is accepted, you are right

J'ai Mal Aux Dents

J'ai mal aux dents!
j'ai mal aux pieds aussi!
This is a man hard working song
there is... no old dream
we practiced for years my friend
to get this machine screams
noise follows questions honey
the hero is a business bunny
if it means money
this is time maybe we do it without crime
because you are crying and i don't listen
because you are dying and i just whistle
that thing so anonymously today
and echoes of my laughter burn into your seven hour turn

The problem is not only pain
if time could be part of machine
you could pack it, see it's clean
you could roll the end to start
tomorrow skip my plastic heart
beating for a spacey blues
and you could hear it without shoes

It's been a nice (historic) role
first call the name and then the code
first call the code and then the name
i think it's still a funny game


Here we go sisters, here we go man
your home made connections
i do what i can
your tranquilliser body touch is very nice because
and i don't need you
makes you wait for the master because
i don't need you
and you sit on your chair with your distant care
this mind blowing freak
makes my mind very sick
and the seasons grow without your be active or die blow
say A.M. man, say A.M. woman's role
see the mind control is perfect
and you still have your daddy's smile
fences on the floor are not there
because you can't hide
you get your children, you get your car
what do you think how old you are
what do you think what people need
it's not that plastic, let it bleed
it's not that plastic honey don't
because you understand you won't
see your generation with their
  TV on standby

j'ai mal aux pieds aussi!
Schempal Buddah
ship on a better sea!

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

Der Baum

See her sitting on her chair
when she stops kissing i know she won't care
he opened the door, turned on
the light and it hurt my eyes
taking the kids to bed
they're crying so loud they're breaking my head
see her lying on the grass
must be a nice feeling for her ass
the wind has come
so the leaves, they are gone
feeling like a tree today
and it's a nice feeling, yeah
the wind has come now
so the leaves, they're gone
because the wind has come
see her lying in her bed
must be a nice feeling for her head

Chère Chambre

La vie semblait s'être arrêté là devant le
spectacle muet d'un lendemain d'orgie
deux hirondelles s'étaient depuis
longtemps installées, leur caca clapotant se
desséchait. seul triste, river ne pensait
qu'à penser. de tout facon, comme il disait
lui... et s'était une phrase toujours
interompue. un êclair soudain devait le
saisir. ses mains cherchaient un motif, une
sympathie, n'importe quoi, de la douceur...
depuis toujours et jamias on ne disait
toujours sans songer à l'aube du jour ou le
vent, chaud sons corps, fou ses espoirs et
avec charme il se masturber comme
personne ne pouvait le faire, chaque
mouvement était alors un pas de plus vers
elle. une poignée de coton hydrophile est
un chapeau sur la tête de Kerstin. j'ai senti
tout à coup que le choc était plus que
probable, je n'étais pas supris, je n'avais
pas peur. Rudolf avait freiné trop fortement
et comme il ne conduit pas au même
tempo que les villois... j'étais même curieux
intéressé par les mouvements de la voiture
le paysage évolue dans une autre
dimension. le code de la route est alors
impuissant et dérisoire: la voiture va où elle
doit aller sans respecter les divers
obstacles qui sont ou ne sont pas là ou
ailleurs choc sourd et décevant
accélération centrifuge et tout redevient
normal, normal et amusant. le système de
notre civilisation se montre et tombe très
vite dans l'éfficace inhumain. il y a quand
même le moment ou les deux chauffeurs
males communiquent. tout devient male
Coup de foudre
Kerzen, Tomatensaft
2 * 150 gramm Rindfleisch
Viel Obst, viel Obst, viel Obst
Was zum trinken
Brot, Margarine
Chère chambre tu m'as longtemps regardé
quand j'étais nu sur le lit, quand je restais
sans rien dire, longtemps. tu dois me
connaître maintenant. j'ai vu le monde à
travers les trois yeux. j'ai vécu dans ton
sein, tous mes instants vides, blancs, nuit
yeux ouverts sur des pensées sans fin qui à
force de se retourner perdent ainsi leur
sens, toutes mes humeurs et mes envies
mon échec solitaire quand je peinds si
longtemps chaque matin à grande peine et
sagement. tu dois me comprendre
parceque toi non plus, ta femme quand ca
claque porte, tes coins où passe le vent et
le froid et la catastrophe, quand tu veux
dire que tu ne sais pas. je les connais, je
les ai observés. toi aussi tu t'es ennuyée
ma chambre. maintenent tout à changer.
est-ce-qu'un sentiment trop fort encoumbre
le paysage. il est si tenu et très
transportable. je m'en serts souvent et
beaucoup l'accepte. je vois aussi que
certaines humeurs se répétent éspacées de
plusiers années.
nous devons peut-être accorder nos passés?

Life seemed to have stopped there in front of the dumb spectacle of the day after an orgy,
two swallows had settled for a long time and their excrements dried.
Alone and sad, River just thought of thinking,
in any way as he said,
and it was a sentence always interrupted.
A sudden flash was to seize him.
His hands sought a motive, a sympathy, whatever, tenderness ...
Since always,
and never did one say always without thinking of dawn or of the wind,
his body hot, his hopes distorted
and with charm he masturbated like nobody could do it,
each movement was one more step towards her.
A fistful of hydrophile cotton is a hat on Kerstin's head.
I suddenly felt that the shock was more than likely,
I was not surprised, I was not afraid.
Rudolf had slowed down too hard and as he does not drive with the same speed as the citizens...
I was even curious, intrigued by the movements of the car,
the landscape evolves in another dimension
The highway code then is impotent and ridiculous:
the car goes where it must go without respecting the various obstacles which are or are not there or elsewhere.
Deaf and misleading shock.
Centrifugal acceleration, and all becomes normal again,
normal and amusing.
The system of our civilization shows
and falls very quickly into the inhuman effective.
Anyhow there is this moment when the two male drivers communicate.
All becomes male, sexless.
Candles, tomato juice, two times on hundred and fifty grams of beef;
Much fruit, much fruit, much fruit, much fruit, much fruit, something to drink;
bread, margarine.
Dear room,
you looked at me a long time when I was naked on the bed,
when I remained silent for a long time.
You must know to me by now.
I saw the world through your three eyes,
I have lived in your bosom.
All my empty white moments, nights with eyes open
on thoughts without end
and which by turning over lose direction.
All of my moods and my desires,
my solitary failure,
when I paint for such a long time each morning with so much pain and wisely.
You have to understand me because neither you,
your wife when the door claps,
your corners where the wind and the cold and the catastrophe pass,
when do you want to say that you do not know.
I know them, I did observe them.
You were also bored, my room.
Now everything changed.
Does too strong a feeling encumber the landscape?
It is tense and very transportable.
I often make use of it and very much accept it.
I also see that certain moods repeat
that are several years apart.
Perhaps we have to connect our pasts?



Hans Joachim Irmler: Interview

on the Faust Tapes...
"It was not old material - it was recorded around that time."
Hans Joachim Irmler, "Interview", Wümme Box Set


Mark Prendergast: The Ambient Century

"The Faust Tapes is well worth the effort for it's ability to amble along ambiently in the background."
Mark Prendergast, p284, "The Ambient Century", Bloomsbury 2000, © 2000 Mark Prendergast
read the text of the full article here


The Raver : Deleted: LP that was TOO Popular

The Faust Tapes, Virgin's cheap album currently at number 18 in the MM chart will be deleted on July 20. Reason? Well, it was too popular.

At 48p a go, the album costs more to produce than the price it sells for. So, on 60,000 sales Virgin have already LOST £2,000. Such are the crazy economics of the business... or so they say.

The Raver , "Deleted: LP that was TOO Popular", Melody Maker 1972, © Melody Maker


Ian MacDonald: The Faust Tapes

More unorthodoxies from the Faust people. This time around it's a holding-operation - Faust Volume Two-and-a-half, an album of material recorded informally and originally intended only for the pleasure of the group and their friends. They used to refer to it as The Faust Party Tapes; now, with British audiences curious to discover more about why they make those funny noises, it's become The Faust Tapes and Virgin are offering it to us for the price of a single.

Does that mean it's a load of rubbish? No way. For me, it's at least as good as So Far and contains two or three passages that hark back to the group's main achievement, the first side of the transparent album - and that's very good. Newcomers will have to get used to the thin, sizzly sound of the band and to the eccentric concept of drums that Werner Dierrnaier propounds. Once that's assimilated they should begin to enjoy the songs (of which there are more than on either side of the official albums) and in particular the extended sonomontage "Finnish Autumn" which occupies the opening two-thirds of side Two. Here, various ideas are cut up and laid next to - sometimes over - each other: brooding piano chords plonk about in their own time under Zappa-style guitar in free-tempo and occasional bursts of regular rhythm from drums and bass; an unlikely interlude of ersatz electric Gil Evans follows with Jean-Hervé Péron giving a desultory impersonation of Miles Davis; then the sound of thunder and chimes and back comes the doodling guitar. It goes on like this for nearly fifteen minutes and I love it I tell you!

The Faust Tapes is a must if you want an offbeat chuckle and dont mind having your mind bent a little. For an album that was never meant for general release it's excellent - and for 48p it's ridiculous.

Ian MacDonald, "The Faust Tapes", NME 1973, © New Musical Express


Julian Cope: The Faust Tapes

Some of the points raised by Cope are addressed in an interview with Jochen Irmler. Renate Layne had things to say about the idea of 'Krautrock'

It well befits the Myth of Krautrock that what became the figurehead of the genre originally bailed out of the shops at 49p! And even more incredible is the recent revelation that Virgin Records lost no money on the campaign. Steve Lewis, the man behind the scam, claims to have taken very few risks for what appeared at the time as an Heroic release. Whilst the master tape of Faust's home-recordings was bought cheaply from Uwe Nettlebeck, the album sleeve was a glorious Warholian pre-punk mess. One side was press clippings that revealed just how freaked-out their home country had been when the Faust LP ('Clear') had first appeared in 1971. The other side was Brigit Riley's monochrome op-art trip called 'Crest'. And even this was an obvious and risk-free winner. Five or so years earlier, Leonard Bernstein's out there "Music for our Time" LP had employed Riley's 'Current' to fabulous effect. That the two different paintings could have been details of one larger work ensured in advance that The Faust Tapes would look great.

The album fades in slowly in a cacophony of rainy city blues, droning synthesizers and tonelessness. An abrupt edit cuts suddenly to a call and answer vocal and drum groove and. . . bang! A savage edit into. .. a ballad. Piano, drums, acoustic guitar, Eno-ish synthesizer and voice. A ballad. Except that the vocals were intriguingly trans-Atlantic and sounded insightfully psychedelic in a badly-translated way. It was charming: "When you leave your place and walk in someone other's garden, Suddenly you see, it's a woman's colour in your mind to be."

Most surprising about The Faust Tapes is the number of truly wonderful pop and rock songs hidden within the cut-ups and experiments of the album's tangled grooves. And halfway through Side I is their most defining Krautrock riff of all. It's another of Faust's Krautrock/Family Stone/Temptations trips in the tradition of "It's a Rainy Day". A scientific German-American voice makes pronouncements over the groove and Gunter Wüsthoff's sax tears along over a loopy breakneck driving beat, as the call and answer of life kicks in: "Chet-vah Buddha, Cherra-loopiz Chet-vah Buddha, Cherra-loopiz. Chet-vah Buddha, Cherra-loopiz Chet-vah Buddha, Cherra-loopiz."

UK Tour 1973 - Birmingham, with Gong and Daevid Allen50,000 copies of The Faust Tapes were sold in 1973 and the night they played at Birmingham Town Hall, it seemed as though those words could become a football anthem. The Heads were taking over. Soon after, as we lay in my friend Cott's caravan listening to The John Peel Show, out of nowhere the DJ began to read out the names of the 20 or more songs from The Faust Tapes. The sleeve and label of the LP had showed no titles to any of the songs and Cott raced around trying to find a pen. It was all over in half-a-minute and all I could remember was some title about Humphrey Bogart. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that John Peel was in on Faust's intended wind-up of its audience - that we were only meant to hear the titles fleetingly and race around like half-wits. And Faust were right.

. . it was their persistence in the Entirety of their trip that makes them so legendary now. Even better, The Faust Tapes was the social phenomenon of 1973, and it finally brought the true avant garde into everyone's living room, for a short while at least. But most of all this LP revealed just which side of the fence everyone was really standing. In April 1980, Jim Kerr, leader of dinosaurs Simple Minds, gleefully told me how he and his mates had all chucked their copies of The Faust Tapes off the roof of a Glasgow tenement. Enough Said? I'm sure that's the phrase.

Julian Cope, "Krautrocksampler", Head Heritage 1995, ISBN 0-9526719-1-3, © Julian Cope
read the text of the full article here


Audion: Faust: Breaking all the Rules

Audion is a well regarded magazine covering many topics of interest to fans of 70's German avant-rock. You can contact Audion at Audion, c/o Ultima Thule, 1 Conduit St, Leicester LE2 0JN, UK

Now with the newly founded Virgin Records label, Faust come to England for a debut performance in London. A most curious album followed shortly afterwards: The Faust Tapes, part of Virgin's massive publicity campaign, was released at the price of a single (then 48p!) - understandably it sold well. A collection of various archive recordings, The Faust Tapes is an inventive and bizarre collection of weird songs, off-the-cuff ideas, freaked out improvisations, wild montages, electronic onslaughts and more, all cleverly segued and edited. As an introduction to Faust, everyone should start here.

Audion, "Faust: Breaking all the Rules", Audion 1989
read the text of the full article here


Don Watson: Faust Epiphany

This was one of a regular series in The Wire where people described their musical epiphanies

One of the effects of the rabid reissue programs that accompanied the CD revolution was to offer shrinkwrapped package tours into your teenage bedrom. Music, as we all know, can recreate the details of the time it is associated with in the mind of the listener, with all the eerie realism of one of Philip K. Dick's neurological holidays. For a while it was impossible to venture into the Megastore without your eye catching a sleeve that took you back to the days when Virgin's record shops were all beanbags, headphones and Captain Beefheart posters.

Like a lot of people my teenage years were divided between going out music and staying at home music. The going out music (War, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Johnny Guitar Watson, Northern Soul) had all resurfaced. Like a left brain/right brain imbalance, the staying in music was the foreign country.

It seems like an obvious point to make, but after having a good wander around this foreign country, the strange thing is just how recognisable it all is. The huge seismic shift that punk represented in cultural terms, merges into a surprising degree of continuity in purely musical terms.

It came as a surprise to me just how well some of the music I listened to at the age of fourteen or fifteen stands up. I wallowed in nostalgia for the visionary, surreal romanticism of Kevin Ayers' "Confessions of Dr Dream", wondered at Kevin Coyne's evocation of the twee and the violent. I immersed myself all over again in the bleak hybrid of noise and dance music that constitutes Can's "Tago Mago", rediscovered the Brechtian wit of Slapp Happy and generally came to the conclusion that I must have been a pretty weird fourteen year old.

That, no doubt, was the impression I had intended to convey at the time. But deep in the very scary sonic territory of Can's "Aumgn", I did begin to wonder how I'd got here the first time round, only two years after shelling out 7 shillings and sixpence for T. Rex's "Ride a White Swan". Wilful perversity and a desire to be different are of course a major part, but where did I first discover the forbidden thrill of discordance?

The answer, I finally realised, has lurked in my record collection ever since. Despite all the various vinyl culls over the years, I could never part with The Faust Tapes, even though I never actually played it either. Occasionally I'd take out the sleeve, a reproduction of one of Brigit Riley's op art piece 'Crest', liberally smeared with fingerprints from vintage NME print, look at it fondly and put it back in the rack. Perhaps in the back of my mind I thought it was a voyage into abstract sound better experienced through memory than in real time.

After all, I bought The Faust Tapes for the same reason that most of the hundred thousand or so people did in 1973. It was cheap. At 48p it was the current price of a single. In those music-starved days, finding that a whole album was within your immediate price range, when you thought you could only buy three minutes worth of escape, was irresistible. Even if it was by a band you'd never heard of, and even if they were from Germany.

And like you did in those days, I listened to it. Constantly. It was an uncomfortable experience sometimes - there's a moment on the first side, when a single deep note is sustained by an imperfect voice, becoming louder and louder, ever more hysterical, demented-sounded and jarring, until it is joined by a cacophony of noise swelling up behind it. Even the nastiest moments of "Tago Mago" can't quite compete.

When I finally did acquire a CD of The Faust Tapes my first reaction was one of disappointment, not at the music, but the sleeve. The Brigit Riley had seemed such an integral part of the package that the woodcut illustration of the Dr Faustus story seems a poor substitute.

The back of the original album had been a covered with dense type, featuring reviews from a number of music papers, which were as influential as the music itself. Ian MacDonald's piece from the NME of March 1973, particularly set out the agenda for my listening over the next two years. Captain Beefheart, Velvet Underground, Brian Wilson, Frank Zappa. If the sleeve had changed, the thrill had not. The Faust Tapes contains so much of what was to intrigue me for the following decades that I begin to wonder if I would have been at all the same person had the nascent Virgin not decided to pull off the 48p marketing scam. There are MacDonald's signposts of course, there are also traces of Edgar Varese, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Serge Gainsbourg. And there are elements which no doubt made me more receptive in later years to DAF, Pyrolator and Neubauten. Not least the thrill of the exotic that derives from the album's conspicuously European nature, its sense of sophisticated travelogue.

What is so striking about The Faust Tapes, particularly in comparison with the three studio albums that surrounded it (Faust, So Far and Faust IV) is the density of the ideas. Where the 'proper' albums tend to establish themes and tease them out over a sustained period, The Faust Tapes flickers from texture to texture, from melodic pop to avant garde and back via jazz with a sense of restless delight. It's interesting to refer back to the original sleeve notes, where MacDonald attributes the more sustained nature of the studio albums to 'the demands of a commercial company'. It seems odd now to think that the twenty minute extemporations of the other three should seem more commercially acceptable than the two to three minute juxtapositions of the tapes. There is a suggestion that in doing their 'real' work, Faust lost some of the joy and humour of The Faust Tapes. Although there are melodies on the other albums, there is rarely the sense of splicing pop music into cacophonous noise. Even the moment referred to above resolves, after drawing out its discomfort to the maximum, to a pop song of Velveteen electricity.

For the last few weeks I've been doing exactly what I did at 13 - playing The Faust Tapes over and over and over. Now I've found my way right back to the beginning, and realised the thrill is still there, it's time to start all over again.

After all adolescence is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.

Don Watson, "Faust Epiphany", The Wire 2000, © The Wire
ref: The WIre


Mark Paytress: 71 Mins / The Faust Tapes

This pair is being repromoted as part of ReR's 'Classic Series' in the wake of renewed interest in Krautrock prompted by bands like Stereolab and Tortoise and, of course, Julian Cope's passionate book on the subject, Krautrocksampler.

Seventy One Minutes... is based around the Munic and Elsewhere / Return of a Legend album of unreleased material, originally reviewed in these pages back in November 1986. "Enjoy some of the most hypnotic spells conjured up since PIL's 'Metal Box', or the best of This Heat, or even the father of them all, Can's 'Mother Sky'," wrote this enthusiastic rookie. There's no reason to argue with that original assessment, merely to add that now that Faust are infinitely more fashionable, some people might actually rush out and buy the record this time.

The Faust Tapes, like Seventy One Minutes..., has already appeared on CD, and is the single album which did most to implant the seeds of an experimental musical future into the minds of a few hundred influential teenagers back in 1973, thanks to Richard Branson's idea of knocking it out at 49p a copy. The Faust Tapes is Lesson One in the art of deconstruction: sonic disobedience has rarely sounded this thrilling.

Mark Paytress, "71 Mins / The Faust Tapes", Record Collector 1996


David Cavanagh: Faust Tapes / 71 Mins

The Faust re-issue blitz is completed with the arrival once again of The Faust Tapes. Coming just behind "The Basement Tapes" and "The Troggs Tapes" in rock mythology, it sold for 49p when released on Virgin in 1973 and achieved cult notoriety for being, after Can's "Tago Mago", the next big Krautrock statement of the early 70's. One 43-minute piece of music on CD (and therefore impossible to programme), it's a far-out, fantastic journey of teeth-grinding experimental machine-noise, beautiful piano sketches, syncopated-up funky bits and unclassifiable pop tunes. Rock music rarely comes more groovy or more compelling.

David Cavanagh, "Faust Tapes / 71 Mins", Q Magazine 1993
read the text of the full article here


Dominique Leone: Faust Tapes

Enter Wonderland. Faust were (are?) a German band of merry pranksters whose legacy may touch more of the modern avant-garde than any other band or artist. This is not to say that we're dealing with the classics, or a journey into academia, but rather a group that basically was the archetype for rock experimentation during an all-too-short first existence in the early 70s.

The Faust Tapes was not actually intended for official release, but was a collection of home recordings made by the band for friends. It was bought cheaply by the then-fledgling Virgin label, and sold for half a pound in English record shops. Incredibly, the album sold 50,000 copies, and for a time, every Tom, Dick and Mumsy was in earshot of real out-there, freakout, 100% mind-bending stuff. Talk about subversive, and the best thing about it is that it still stands up today.

The record consists of one track with 26 'passages'. Some of the passages are short bursts of noise, hyped-up saxes, anarchic drums, or psychedelic echo sessions, but the majority of the music here is something else entirely. Gil Evans inspired noir-jazz, whimsical magical mystery pop, gentle acoustic guitar interludes, garage rock, funky trash RnB, pensive piano solos, found sound, telephone conversations - it's all over the map.

It may sound like a lot to take in one sitting, and truthfully, if you have a distaste for experimental music, it may put you off. However, this is, at its core, fun stuff, and is certainly not 'noisy' in the manner of, say, early Boredoms (or even noisier Henry Cow).

While generally put in the Krautrock (a genre named after one of Faust's songs!) camp with fellow German visionary groups like Can and Kraftwerk, Faust are really a world unto themselves. This album, along with their first two official releases, makes a strong argument that rock music needn't require abundant technical proficiency or an arch concept in order to be considered prog. Ultimately, it may just need a love of music, an open mind, and an eye to the future. Faust had those things in spades.

Dominique Leone, "Faust Tapes", Ground and Sky 2003
ref: Ground and Sky


Bob Eichler: Faust Tapes

The Faust Tapes was not actually intended for official release, but was a collection of home recordings made by the band for friends. It was bought cheaply by the then-fledgling Virgin label, and sold for half a pound in English record shops. Incredibly, the album sold 50,000 copies, and for a time, every Tom, Dick and Mumsy was in earshot of real out-there, freakout, 100% mind-bending stuff. Talk about subversive, and the best thing about it is that it still stands up today.

This disc was my introduction to Faust, and so far is the only album of theirs that I own, so I can't compare it with their other work. The word that comes to mind to describe this album is that it's a 'musicloaf' - all sorts of musical styles crammed together, each intercutting to the next with no break or transition. Everything from melodic prog to minimalism to distorted, wailing keyboards to random recordings such as TV programs and the telephone service that tells the time (in German), all lumped together into one album-long track. Speaking of which, it would have been nice for the different pieces to have been given their own track numbers on the CD, but then I guess no one ever says "Hey, I'd really like to listen to part 18 of The Faust Tapes today".

Some pieces of music remind me of early Pink Floyd (but then everything seems to be reminding me of early Floyd lately), particularly the parts with melodic piano and some of the acoustic guitar work.

This album is pretty much for those who like exploring the very adventurous side of prog. If the music itself doesn't put off the more 'mainstream' prog fans, the strange, distorted, accented vocals will. Or the relatively poor sound quality of some sections. But if you want to hear one of the outer edges of prog rock, give this disc a spin.

Bob Eichler, "Faust Tapes", Ground and Sky 2003
ref: Ground and Sky