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FAUST - j US t (Just us)

Format: LP & CD
Label & Cat.Number: Bureau B BB182LP
Release Year: 2014
Note: FAUST in their xxx th (44?) year of existence and they are still not stoppable - twelve 'musical foundations' formed by percussion, various other instruments, objects (like a sewing machine) and often dadaistic vocals, which are made for 'everyone' to build their own music... music that opens up rooms for imagination & inspiration...
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €22.00

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"Die Hamburger Krautrock-Pioniere mit einem Überraschungspaket aus Avantgarde, Dada und Folk.
Die Hamburger Band Faust gehört zu den großen Namen, die der Krautrock der 1970er-Jahre hervorgebracht hat. Als Jean-Hervé Péron und Zappi Diermaier 1971 ihr Debütalbum vorlegten, wollte das in Deutschland niemand hören, im Ausland jedoch verkauften sich "The Faust Tapes" über 100.000-mal. "There is no group more mythical than Faust", schwärmte der englische Musiker und Krautrock-Kenner Julian Cope Jahrzehnte später. Mit "Just Us" setzen Faust ihren musikalischen Weg fort. Während Diermaier seinem Handwerk - Schlagzeug und Perkussion - treu bleibt, integriert Peron allerhand unübliche Klangquellen in sein Bassspiel, verschiedene Streichinstrumente, Klavier und sogar eine Nähmaschine als Metronom. Tracks wie "Nur nous" und "Ich bin ein Pavian" zeigen, dass Faust nichts von ihrer Vorliebe für Avantgarde und Dadaismus verloren haben. Ausflüge ins folkloristische Gefilde ("Cavaqui-ho", "Gammes") runden das wahrhaft faustische Überraschungspaket ab. //
j US t - pronounced "Just Us" - is the new album from legendary Hamburg band Faust. Founder members Jean-Herve Peron and Zappi Diermaier have laid down twelve musical foundations, inviting the whole world to use them as a base on which to build their own music. The tracks presented by Peron and Diermaier are clearly, intrinsically typical of Faust in their own right, yet offer enough space for completely different works to develop. Which is exactly what they hope will happen. Whilst Diermaier largely remains true to his habitual handiwork - drums and percussion - Peron, as we might expect, incorporates all manner of unusual sonic sources alongside his bass, various string instruments and piano, even using a sewing machine as a metronome. Tracks like "nur nous" and "ich bin ein pavian" show that Faust have lost none of their predilection for avantgarde Dadaism and improvisation. Peron and Diermaier actually surprise us with folkloristic excursions ("cavaquinho", "gammes"). In short, there is something for everyone to work with here. Peron and Diermaier await the results with bated breath. Faust will follow the same principle on the accompanying tour by inviting local artists to collaborate with them on stage." [label info]


"Faust’s intentions have never been easy to discern. Over their 40-plus years of morphing, discontinuous existence, they’ve been so good at dodging expectations and confounding analysis that even when they’re playing it straight, you wonder if something else is going on. So when the press sheet for j US t (pronounced "just us") claims the band is "inviting the whole world to use [the album] as a base on which to build their own music," it’s hard not to get suspicious. Is this a decoy? Do Jean-Hervé Peron and Zappi Diermaier want you to imagine other music so you won’t focus on theirs? Is it simply a way to say "if you don’t like it, make your own"?

Perhaps Faust truly are earnest about wanting this album to inspire public collaboration. But the idea does point to something that’s always been intriguing about Faust’s music: it’s often just as much about what they aren’t playing as what they are. Their work is full of implications and innuendos, spaces waiting to be filled in. j US t doesn’t necessarily have more of that than most Faust albums, but implication does seem to be a main theme here. This is music in which every note suggests many more possibilities.

j US t begins by proclaiming more than intimating, and in this way it bears an uncanny resemblance to the last Faust effort, 2011’s stellar Something Dirty. That record began with three bold, practically rocking tunes, and so does this one. Based around simple riffs and looping beats, these songs are like free-form post-rock, sturdy in their rhythms but opened-ended in their direction. And despite how well-defined the base of each track is, there’s also tantalizing space in each one. Take "80Hz", whose simple two-note bass figure flows beautifully with the well-timed accents of Diermaier’s percussion and Peron’s sonic grab bag. At times it dips to near-silence, in other places it crests to frantic peaks, but throughout it maintains a tension that compels attention.

The balance between action and suggestion tips more toward the latter for the rest of j US t, in ways both fascinating and frustrating. Some songs maintain the attraction of anticipation, hinting at where they might go without ever fully abandoning other options. But others feel more flat than ripe, not so much flirting with tense silence as drifting into empty inertia. One in particular, the seven-minute "Palpitations", is mostly limp. Its intermittent percussion and electronic squiggles sound more random than impulsive, making it the only instance on the album where I find myself wishing I could already hear other bands filling it in.

It takes a few tracks to recover from that mid-album drop, but Faust manage to rebound on closer "Ich Sitze Immer Noch", whose slow, rising lope sounds like a sunny homage to Spiderland-era Slint. Like the bulk of j US t, it offers a lot worth hearing and just as much worth daydreaming about—in other words, it achieves the band's stated goals. Maybe Peron and Diermaier really did mean what they said." [Marc Masters / PITCHFORK]