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Faust - C’est Com...Com...Complique

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Artist: Faust

Album: C’est Com...Com...Complique

Label: Bureau B

Review date: Mar. 3, 2009

Last we heard from Krautrock forefathers Faust, the band – now down to just two original members – collaborated with Steven Stapleton’s Nurse with Wound on the album disconnected, released in accordance with an avant-garde music festival in 2007 on bassist Jean-Herve Peron’s Art-Errorist label. Peron contributed on bass, Werner “Zappi” Diermaier led the way on drums and Amaury Cambuzat, of the like-minded 1990s French group Ulan Bator, held down guitar duties.

C’est Com...Com...Complique collects the original material from the disconnected remixes. Recorded in Hamburg during 2006, the disc gets off to a gut-churning start with the appropriately named “Kundalini Tremolos.” A wildly droning palimpsest that references and updates the swirling shimmer of Faust’s legendary 1974 track “Krautrock,” there is even more rhythmic intrigue on this new offering. Each complex layer remains surprisingly clear, each rhythmic and timbral detail complementing the beautifully interwoven strands of translucent melody, often courtesy of Zappi’s percussion. Along similar lines but even heavier is “Bonjour gioacchino,” whose gradual fade-in leads quickly to an all-encompassing hailstorm of guitar, delayed vocals and speaker-shaking rhythms.

On the other end of the spectrum, we are treated to the airy nostalgia of “Petits Sons Appetissants,” another apt title given the dainty delicacies delivered throughout its four minutes, from crystalline acoustic guitar to breezy electric piano. The full range of Zappi’s extraordinary approach to his instrument can be heard here, including mallets and chimes. Zappi was always a timbrally inventive drummer, making the most of simple material. On “Lass Mich,” his rhythmic tapping takes on a bold and willfully metronomic quality, as shreds of effect-laden guitar emerge and submerge in gorgeous arcs.

Often, and of the most interest, are the moments when harsh and sweet textures merge, as they do with the fade-in of the spare and haunting “Stimmen,” a piece for voices in Tuvan overtone mode. The spinning coin that opens “Accrocher a tes levres” becomes larger than life as it merges with a gong. Also, in “Lass Mich,” sharp shocks of distorted guitar penetrate the dreamy drone, sympathizing with Peron’s stark but emotionally charged vocal recitation.

This disc has all the ingredients that made Faust the force it once was, plowing headlong through rock establishment and leaving us to reassess the wrecked landscape.

By Marc Medwin

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