Faust - Faust (1971), 7/10

Faust provided one of the more original recordings of the early seventies and firmly established the worth of krautrock with this studio experiment. Musique concrète was not a new invention by any means, yet this particular blend of rock music, tape, ambient sound, distortion, humor, and simply interesting sound make it a unique contribution to the movement. The contrast of sampling and psychedelic rock jams with intentionally theatrical dramatics and subversive aggression makes all of these tracks interesting as individual pieces. The consistent surprises buried within otherwise minimalist krautrock are another part of what make this particular record interesting outside of its general ingenuity within the context of the movement’s development. This record is a litmus test for krautrock and for the better records to come out of Germany during this era, making it an essential and foundational album for those exploring the genre. Still, not all of the exercises contained in this album are entirely successful when neighbored against one another, making some of “Meadow Meal” and particularly “Miss Fortune” a bit too inconsistent to be touted as the very best. The general simplicity makes some of these moments interestingly bare, giving it a refreshing vulnerability as well as a potentially off-putting brashness. Faust is obviously a significant achievement while also being extraordinarily entertaining which gives it substantial longevity. The album is not an unimaginably dense or complex project or wholly unstructured which works in its favor considering the subject matter and the musicians involved. The combination of an utterly human element, like the samples at the very beginning of the record, paired with thematic and auditory interruptions give the album deeper meaning as well, again explaining its significance with added meaning given its historical and cultural contexts.