Faust - "Patchwork 1971-2002"
(Klangbad/Staubgold 2002, staubgold 37)

From Aural Innovations #23 (April 2003)

I imagine it’s likely that every review of Faust’s Patchwork will reprint this quote from the CD’s liner notes, but it is definitely appropriate:

“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, New Musical Express, 1973

In the tradition of The Faust Tapes, Patchwork digs into the Faust vaults and comes out with bits and pieces of unrealeased recordings spanning some 30 years (though a serious chunk of these fragments sound like they come from the Wumme years, 1970-73), stitching them together into two lengthy suites. To be sure, this is classic Faust. From the wildly avant-garde noisescapes and sound collages, to folky acoustic meanderings, to raucous rock n’ roll, to moody, jazzy piano interludes, and more, all that trademark Faustian madness and inventiveness is here, including a few old favourites (like an alternate take of It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl), overlapping and fading in and out of each other. It’s often rough and lo-fi, but other parts are a little more finished and produced. It’s really all over the place, but there is so much variety of sound here, with no one bit coming to dominate, that amazingly, it works as a balanced whole.

I wouldn’t really recommend this as a place to start with Faust, but fans of these Krautrock legends will certainly find plenty here to savor and appreciate.

For more information you can visit the Klangbad web site at: http://www.klangbad.de, or the Staubgold web site at: http://www.staubgold.com.

Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

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