Faust – So Far

A legendary and ground-breaking work when it came out, it’s still sounding light years ahead of its time, music from a future too far away to contemplate. The album opens with the mind-bending drumming that leads into the classic ‘It’s A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl’ with the distant electronic-sounding backdrops, the strummed foreground acoustic guitars, the monotone vocal reciting the only line that is the lyric and those drums – wow, those drums – you could imagine local Dundee band The Wildhouse taking on a version of this and turning it supernova.

After that, things go to a more serene level with a gorgeous instrumental and that’s followed by the more symphonic ‘No Harm’, another instrumental with a more expansive sound that then leads into a classic slice of Krautrock with shimmering electric guitars, crunchy drumming , deep bass and what sounds like a treated wind instrument soaring on top, and then it all changes shape completely once again, going into this splintering sea of guitars, bass, drums and effects, another searing slice of ’72 Krautrock instrumental heaven that glows hotter and hotter the more it continues as the sounds and guitars and rhythms just intensify and build over more than ten minutes of absolute genius.

If that wasn’t enough, we then go into the amazing title track, an instrumental revolving around this cyclical rhythm interspersed with a cyclical sax refrain, over which the assorted guitars, electronic treatments and effects laden instruments create what sounds like an infinite set of sonic layers as the whole thing revolves and builds – a simply awesome six minutes. The five minute ‘Mamie Is Blue’ opens with droning electronics, a shuddering electro-percussive shredded rhythm as this massive bass line booms out of the speakers and the whole effect is like some huge factory coming to life as the sounds mass ranks, build, layer, charge, soar and shudder, more and more textures and sonic delights being added as the title is recited against this jaw-dropping sea of sonic head-bending proportions.

The near four minute ‘I’ve Got My Car And My TV’ is a typical slice of Faust playing at being serious and light-hearted with their music as it covers jazz sax, electronic drones, deep bass and an almost throwaway melody from the guitars way down in the mix – but the whole thing sounding just so right!! It couldn’t be done any other way or by any other band. A couple of instrumental snippets lead into the final track, ‘…In The Spirit’ where the band, once again, cover more musical territory with equal amounts of seriousness and “tongue-in-cheek” playing, as normality in the world of Faust becomes your normality – and you know you’re hooked. So, it’s back to the beginning – and relive the experience. Incredible still, one of, if not THE most accessible yet ground-breaking albums they did in the seventies,
and simply timeless.

Reviewed by Andy Garibaldi

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