faUSt - Fresh Air album review

Latest album from version of 70s Krautrock legends

Cover art for faUSt - Fresh Air album

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Recorded in various locations during a 28-day tour in March/April 2016, this album represents the finest work from the Jean Hervé- Péron/Zappi Diermaier version of Faust in years. Enlisting the assistance of Barbara Manning, as well as Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps) and Ysanne Spevack on viola, it urges its audience “Engajouez vous!” (which means something like “engage and have fun”). It’s an impassioned attempt to break through the window between artist and audience, as well as trying to raise the urgency of the art game in desperate times.

The Dadaist art movement is an influence on the invited audience yelps of Partitur, while Chlorophyl is a surreal playlet straddling music and theatre.

More traditionally Faustian are the extended opener and title track, built around a poem translated to Polish, which builds like a slow, hoving weather front from its early bed of drones to a crescendo of primal, (post-) industrial noise. La Poulie, meanwhile, bristling with Peron’s exhortations, works off a ticking, looping riff that’s reminiscent of classics like J’Ai Mal Aux Dents.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.