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Irmler/Liebezeit: Flut

Faust meets Can in Krautrock royalty face-off.

The monumental influence of Krautrock’s original pioneers continues to manifest anywhere from prog to Bowie, but rarely do the titans themselves come out to play in such shapeshifting, senses-scrambling style as on this blistering team up between Faust’s Hans Joachim Irmler

Released on Irmler’s label and recorded over three days at Faust’s studio by the Danube, the six tracks hark back to the supernatural energy which elevated both groups’ landmark albums, particularly Faust’s debut and Can’s Tago Mago.

Liebezeit’s mastery of the featherlight space-funk pulse meets its perfect foil in Irmler’s unfettered organ ravaging, sometimes echoing John Cale’s infernal Hammond abuse on the Velvets’ Sister Ray but more often sparking with a cathartic elemental eruption rarely encountered in modern music. The pair also manage to combine the spiritual trailblazing which hotwired their respective bands with modern electronic flavours, such as the juddering pulses of Sempiternity or Liebezeit’s spectral hip hop beat on Ein Perfektes Paar.

The result is music in its purest, most savage form; still light years ahead over 40 years later.

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!