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BBC Sessions+ by Faust

In the 1970s and 80s, while many fusion bands in the US and the UK were going for flash, funk and speed, there was this German band who thought of other ways to fuse seemingly disparate styles of music: Faust. While many groups combined the superficial elements of style - rock instrumentation and dynamics, jazz improvisation, classical-influenced themes - Faust integrated the various elements of rock, jazz, tape-splicing/musique concrete, 20th century classical composition and conceptual "art" concepts (like "noise") with a very German (as well as un-commercial) sensibility. They never sought to woo (overtly, anyway) English-speaking audiences and their approach was/is as uncompromising as John Cage or Evan Parker.

Compiled by Chris Cutler, this disc collects some live BBC broadcasts from the early 70s (and 80s? the notes are a bit vague) and some alternate takes from their albums. This set runs a wide/wild gamut, from the ethereally soothing ("Meer") to the absurd ("Party 10") to a suite where Steve Lacy meets Pink Floyd in Timothy Leary’s study ("The Lurcher/Kraut Rock/Do So"). If you’ve ever wondered what Frank Zappa’s music would’ve been like had he upper the ante of We’re Only In It For The Money, if K. Stockhausen had taken the Velvet Underground under his wing instead of Andy Warhol and/or Syd Barrett stayed with Pink Floyd, hadn’t gone completely mad and brought Keith Tippett into the band, then Faust should be on your must-hear list.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Faust
  • CD Title: BBC Sessions+
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Cuneiform / ReR
  • Rating: Three Stars
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