PATCHWORK 1971-2002

Erratic, anarchic, groundbreaking, and very, very silly. Faust were not your average rock band. Often habitually cited as the most important krautrock act alongside Can and Neu!, Faust differed from those bands in many ways. More whimsical, less focused, but funnier, these art anarchists appeared more like the mentioned bands’ kid siblings than anything else.
“Patchwork” is an attempt to sum up their career; three decades spliced together in a forty minute collage. If anything, it definitely stays true to the spirit of Faust. Personally, I find their persistent lack of focus and
direction a bit annoying in too big portions, but when Faust are good, they’re brilliant. On this album you can hear it when a snatch of “It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl”, The Velvet Underground’s monotony taken to almost ridiculous length and placed in a naïve technicolor context, shows up in “Stretch Over All Times”. “A Seventies Event” is on the other hand an excerpt of “Krautrock”, the monstrously throbbing masterpiece from “Faust IV” that somehow manages to sound like a precursor to both Throbbing Gristle
and Spacemen 3. You really need the full ten minute plus version, but the edit included here is still enough to make my knees weak. The rest of the album consists of a fair bit of rewarding guitar noise and otherworldly sound experiments, but also of a bit too much pointless audio pranks.
“Patchwork 1971-2002” is probably invaluable to the hardcore Faust fan. For the rest of us it’s at least offering a fascinating glimpse into their unique world. And for anyone who’s interested in the history of experimental rock (and more) music, that should make it worthwhile enough.