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Wednesday, May 5, 1999

Zeitgeists and Flashbacks

Posted By on Wed, May 5, 1999 at 12:00 AM

If you thought Rammstein or Tool was going to have the last word this decade on German language and noise in rock, think again. After 30 years, Faust stomps on the already run-down ambient-industrial scene and proves it can still outstrange the best of them — even without Uwe Nettlebeck. Ravvivando is one long, inventive sonic meditation that happens to be cut up into 12 tracks. It churns out some worthy hypnotic drones, "percussion" that sounds like a wood shop class with really good rhythm, and German spoken word that is surprisingly still exotic. When everybody in town is making a bid for a chunk of our unconscious via ambient experiments, remixes and samples, how do we take Faust? Despite the footnotes, like Julian Cope's book on Krautrock, it's not like Faust's history and strategies are completely obvious in its music. But the background definitely makes it more interesting. On its first manifesto, in 1973, Faust said it wanted to create "the sound of yourself listening." How about the sound of myself placing a bet on which DJ Soandso jumps first at the chance to do a remix of one of these tracks? I guess being a legend never goes out of style.

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