The musicof the group Faust has been steadily growing more and more popular, spreading in an almost viral way from enthusiast to enthusiast. Yet, it seemed odd that there was such a lack of written material. Chris Cutler's booklet in the excellent “Wümme Years” box set made it abundantly clear that those involved in Faust had personalities and lives every bit as unique and intriguing as the music they recorded.
So, a book on Faust was urgently needed and who better to write it than Andy Wilson, the man behind the excellent Faust Pages website. With this book, Andy looks into Faust's first golden age in detail, examining the music more than the people involved. His approach works beautifully, bringing you closer to the music without demystifying it. The whole journey through their magic works is accompanied by newspaper clippings, photos [some great archive pictures and even a blurry photo of me before I grew my hair and beard!] and quotes from both band members and the music press of the time.
The passion with which Andy writes about Faust is deeply inspiring and infectious. So much so, that I found it impossible to read without sticking on whichever album I was reading about. This book is not just wild etnhusiasm, though, as Andy's knowledge of Faust subject is also second to none. Although Faust's memories are variable due to the fact it all happened over 30 years ago (and probably in no small part to the quantities of marijuana smoked back then), Andy does a good job it piecing together the puzzle and providing us with all the available pieces. “Stretch Out Time” finishes off where the “Wümme Years” booklet started and delivers the definitive account of those years. With Faust currently more active than ever, the timing is perfect on this book. It's a labour of love and an absolute pleasure to read.
Review by Ned Netherwood