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  Is Last  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

The concept of bands splitting up and then various ex-members forming their own different versions is hardly a new one. When I were a lad, it used to be 60s soul acts doing the rounds in different incarnations before old glam rock bands started doing this sort of thing. God knows how many versions of bands like The Sweet have played the circuit as the various ex-members took to the road with their own bunch of musicians to earn a crust performing their hits of yore.

The situation regarding Faust, however, is more curious – there's no band members name to pre-fix the different versions. Both bands are just...Faust. One features Jean-Herv้ Peron and Zappi Diermaier on bass and drums respectively and with various other musicians have put on some of the most enjoyable live shows I've seen in the past five years. The other Faust belongs to fellow original member Hans Joachim Irmler, the man behind the Klangbad label that has released numerous albums in recent years by the likes of Cluster, Ectogram, Emily & Christy and The Nightingales. It is this latter version that is behind this release, a set of recordings from 2006-2008, that sees Irmler joined by – amongst others - Lars Paukstat, Steven W. Lobdell and Michael Stoll who had joined Faust in the 90s.

Still with me? I'll continue...

Faust Is Last is a two CD set which is rumoured to be the final Faust album. It's a mixed bag, but the highs are very high, none more so than the relentless throbbing Feed The Greed which is – there's no other word for it - awesome. On and on it goes, almost forcing the listener to bob up and down on their seat to five minutes of pounding beats and repetitive basslines that underlie some squelchy noises and distant vocals. It could well be my favourite Faust track ever. It's pushed all the way by the excellent Babylon though, a shouty beat-driven number not unlike David Holmes excellent Living Room. Also worthy of mention is the relentlessly percussive Drug Wipe, although it's not all harsh and aggressive by any means, while Soft Prunes perches itself in almost early 70s Pink Floyd territory.

Disc 2 is probably best described as being a more experimental set, and In But Out for one – with its shouted vocals over some nightmare organ and thundering drums – is definitely not for the faint hearted. There's also a number of more atmospheric numbers on this disc, the best of which is probably SotTone, which brings to mind the more mellow moments that came out of the early 70s German scene, but ultimately the words "resting" and "laurels" are nowhere to be seen. I don't believe Irmler will stop now.

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