Krautrock, a term used to tag bands from Germany who typically had a penchant for electronics, is representative of a “futuristic” progressive sound. The more well-known bands of the label were the immensely popular Kraftwerk from the ‘70s, and Gary Numan, whose manipulations fed into the ‘80s New Wave scene. Tangerine Dream, Can, Michael Hoenig (whose incredible recording, Departure from the Northern Wasteland (1978), is a magnificent work deserving of remastering,) Popul Vuh, and other free-form musicians of German origin (or German music style influence) were all part of this phenomenon. One of the more notable bands in this genre was Faust. Faust was influential in that they created a sense of ordered electronic noise as yet unheard at their point in time but which later became a genre unto itself.
A lot of history is found in the formation, creation of music, and their label progressions, and all of that is found, incredibly documented and recounted, in the 6-page, unadorned booklet placed with this 2006 remaster and expansion of Faust IV. Originally issued by startup label, Branson’s Virgin Records, the recording sessions that make up the music found on Faust IV yielded up far more music that never made the cut. This new reissue expands the album by including some previously unreleased alternate takes of original songs, some John Peel Radio 1 BBC recordings (Peel loved this band,) an extended version of “Just a Second (Starts Like That!)”and an outtake, the moody “Piano Piece,” a gorgeous work that obviously influenced Roger Eno’s perfect, and not to be missed, Voices (1985 - Opal Records), an album of textured piano compositions.
Faust was a band of constantly changing music. The transitions from the droning opener song, “Krautrock” to the interesting pop of “The Sad Skinhead,” to the rock/jazz fusion of the excellent “Giggy Smile,” is indicative of the musically fluid and aware nature of the band. Unafraid of defying the conventions of album-rock, they created what they felt were excellent pieces to a whole in their assembly line process.
The remaster sounds fantastic, crisp, and spectacular (listen to “Lauft…Heisst Das Es Lauft Oder Es Kommt Bald…Lauft” for proof of that.) With the extra disc of music bonuses, this reissue stands out as a well put-together Faust IV, although not the exhaustive definitive package it deserves to be.