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Artist: Faust

Faust

Bio

Several bands are called Faust: Faust is a German krautrock band, originally composed of Werner "Zappi" Diermaier, Hans Joachim Irmler, Arnulf Meifert, Jean-Hervé Péron, Rudolf Sosna and Gunter Wüsthoff, working with producer Uwe Nettelbeck and engineer Kurt Graupner. The group formed in Wümme, Germany in 1971 and soon began recording their debut, "Faust", which sold poorly, but established a devoted fanbase. With a series of early 1970s releases, Faust became one of the most significant bands in the genre that would eventually be known as Krautrock. Faust became one of the first acts to sign to Richard Branson's Virgin Records, who issued the band's "The Faust Tapes" at the price of a single, 49 UK pence, leading to a chart placing in the United Kingdom. Faust were arguably the most radical of the groups of their era, using advanced studio techniques and electronics in a way that opened up new possibilities for studio composition. At the time they may not have appeared to have had the same impact as a number of their German peers (notably Kraftwerk, Can and Tangerine Dream), but they are increasingly recognised as the most far-sighted of the German groups of that era. Faust broke up in 1975 after Virgin had rejected their fifth album (some of the recordings later appeared on the "Munich and Elsewhere" album), but reissues of their recordings and various additional material through Chris Cutler's Recommended Records maintained a level of interest. The groups' activities between 1975 and 1990 remain shrouded in mystery. In 1990, members Irmler, Diermaier and Péron reunited for performances, including touring the United States for the first time. They have continued to perform in various combinations and with various additional musicians ever since. Péron left the group in June 1997. From mid-1997 to 2004, Faust tours as Zappi W. Diermaier, Hans Joachim Irmler, Steven Wray Lobdell, Lars Paukstat, Michael Stoll. Diermaier and "art-errorist" Péron rejoined in 2004 by immediately recording Trial and Error, a DVD released in 2007 by Fuenfundvierzig Label. Zappi proposed to Péron to start a "new" Faust together with Olivier Manchion and Amaury Cambuzat from Ulan Bator. Faust now exists in two completely different incarnations, both active and each reflecting different as
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Articles

Faust: Return of a Legend: Munic & Elsewhere NME, Jan 1987

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MEPHISTO CALLING. Good news – Faust are back. Released from a devil's pact with silence, they're noisily celebrating the repossession of their souls. A new LP Return of A Legend: Munic And Elsewhere commemorates their comeback.

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Featuring material recorded before and after their 10-year disappearance it proves to be as ageless as the Faust legend itself. Their music is as restless as it ever was. Nomadic in their defiance of borders on time and space, their mostly improvised pieces move like sandstorm drifts across the broad span of rock. They occasionally settle on a familiar landmark, only to distort or blanket its shape completely under wave upon wave of crackling electronics and treated guitar.

Their ever-shifting moods confirm their nomadic character. Single-mindedly devoted to ruthless rhythm one moment, spacier than the spaciest of their Krautrock contemporaries the next, they cross from serious to light, aggressive to sweet, noise to melody with the nonchalance of non-aligned travellers passing between two hostile states.

So Faust are back and they're on the other end of the phone line to say why they left in the first place. Five Germans from that exemplary generation of '68, they formed Faust in '71 in response to seeing the spirit of freedom's first flush. "That was a very good feeling, that sense of freedom you had after '68," recalls Jean-Hervé Peron, speaking from Hamburg. "But in a way freedom can be exhausting. It can be very hard to be left alone, making your own decisions. After a while people [in Germany] got tired of this feeling. No one wanted to create their own values any more. After '73 it was easier to be guided thar to think fro yourself."

"Something I heard Foreign Minister Genscher say on TV summed it up," adds Joachim Irmler. "He said, 'We have everything in the hand now'. Everything's under control."

Resisting the accelerating middleground spread, Faust pitched tents at the outskirts of rock. Somewhere near Munich they set up a commune, began doing things their way. Their way was difference. A first record came out in a transparent sleeve, starkly adorned with an X Ray fist. Contracts with Virgin and Polydor followed. Inevitably they were frozen out by rock s merger with big business.

Herr Irmler: "It's a big problem making money and music. Virgin were interested in making money. On the other side we did not like to be directed. So we decided to quit that job, let things go for a while." Upon giving notice they threatened to return 10 years hence and they've made good their promise. They re-enter a world further shrunken by small-minded business thinking. Escape it with Faust's nomadic solution. "Music has to open you, stimulate you. Most modern music likes to bottle or box you. We never like to see people in a box," concludes Herr Imler.

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Top Albums

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Faust IV

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Faust

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So Far cover art

So Far

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The Faust Tapes

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Faust So Far

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Top Songs

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The Sad Skinhead

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Jennifer

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Krautrock

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It's a Bit of a Pain cover art

It's a Bit of a Pain

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Giggy Smile

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