Features
10.08.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

Faust

“We’re going to krautrock you!” is one of the best things I’ve had shouted at me at midday at a festival, and krautrock us Faust certainly did. The German band is often overlooked next to their contemporaries like Neu! and Can, but their pioneering work in industrial music had an immense effect on Throbbing Gristle, Einstürzende Neubauten, and countless others. The band formed in 1969, released music in their original lineup between 1971-1975, broke up for fifteen-odd years, and currently exists in two different incarnations, one led by Jean-Hervé Péron and other by Hans-Joachim Irmler. Both Fausts have released albums in the last two years.

The Faust at Field Day was Péron’s lineup alongside other original member Zappi W. Diermaier, and British musicians Terry Edwards and husband and wife Geraldine Swayne and Gallon Drunk founder/ex-Bad Seed (of the Nick Cave variety) James Johnston. It was a delightful surprise how full the Village Mentality/Quietus tent was, considering the festival had opened its doors minutes before and it was early by many festival go-ers’ – not to say east Londoners – standards. Fortunately the band delivered and the crowd was rewarded by a set of fuzz-driven uplifting rock.

The group’s industrial side provided a constant backbone that bubbled up throughout the set, but the focus definitely seemed more towards the psychedelic rock realm. Edwards’ saxophone was frenzied and full of energy whilst Johnston and Swayne’s keyboard/guitar sounds swirled tightly around Diermaier’s driving percussion. Although there was no television vandalization or horseshit being thrown around (staples of Jean-Hervé Péron’s Faust sets), we did get the man wielding an angle grinder, a drill and something that looked a bit like an axe in between his raucous vocals. Fortunately the drilling served more as an exciting wake up rather than a skull crushing downer and I left the stage feeling thoroughly and utterly krautrocked.

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