Wow, gawd bless the internet for serving up recordings of legendary Kraut pioneers Faust that I'm sure many of us hadn't heard before (or knew existed). Turns out that after the band recorded their album IV for Virgin and had a somewhat chaotic tour, Richard Branson had his fill of their shenanigans and cut them loose once again in 1975. Although, at this point the band had gone ahead and run up some expensive hotel and studio bills at Giorgio Morodor's Araballe studios, as depicted by member Jean-Herve Peron:
I have no idea how the others managed to get to Munich -- we were all very broke -- but we got to the Arabella and everything seemed fine: Ruud (Bosma) and Joachim had convinced the Arabella management that we were legitimate, and soon we were sitting in the Arabella dining room, happy to meet again after all this time. Rudolf was there, Kurt was there, our dogs were there (they ate the whole time, only the best... and put it on the room bill please, dankeschon); everybody was there.
But, you can imagine, this could not go on forever. After a while (over a week) Arabella got nervous, and then more nervous by the day - until even the sweetest smile from Ruud and the smoothest talk from Joachim could not help us. Who is to pay this huge bill? Panic. Faxes to Virgin -- because we were, in a way, still under contract. They should be pleased that we offer them a master tape of our genial music. But no, Richard didn't even want to listen to our genial music. More panic. Kurt had already discretely left. So, let's rescue the equipment and the tapes at least. We sneaked the equipment and tapes out into the BRS and Ruud and Günther hopped in and... go... run for freedom... speeding gangster-wise through the Arabella grounds, knocking down the closing gates of the parking lot and -- yes, hurrah, they were through!
Like captains in a sinking ship, Joachim, Rudolf and I (where the hell is Zappi?) stayed back to do battle. We were arrested, humiliated (how could anyone not realize the importance of these recordings? Pah!) and no, we none of us had one single pfennig, neither in our pockets nor in the bank, so hang us, torture us, sell our bones to our fans, do what you want with us, but -- please, we're hungry and can't we just talk about this over a nice bottle?
The non-funny, non-heroic end of this story was that Joachim's and Rudolf's mamas bailed us our and paid the bills to save their cherished progeniture. Thank you Mrs. Irmler, thank you Mrs. Sosna.
It seems that Virgin did circulate a promo cassette of the sessions (which apparently contains material done in Wumme as well as at Morodor's place), and as far as actual Faust records go, it's not too shabby. Some trademark drones and freakouts, a very bizarre freeform track called "Jugger's Knot" built around fractured rhythms and junky guitar chords. Some more info on this Faust discography site, the Mended blog has the tracks all available via Rapidshare. Or, here are the MP3s: Track 1, Track 2, Track 3, Baby Rock Out, Duck A L'Orange, Warble Up, Jugger's Knot, Triump Ent. There's also a book out about Faust's 1970-75 years you can check out info on here. As a final bonus, check this out, it's Faust actually jamming out on stage and in the studio somewhere around 1971 (3 minutes, 20MB mpg), rare footage courtesy of this past year's mindblowing WDR-TV German rock documentary, highlights of which you might have caught in the A/V Lounge at this year's WFMU Record Fair.