Boomkat Product Review:
Faust's new album Fresh Air differs in several respects from its predecessor, Just Us. The recordings were made at Jean-Hervé Péron's rehearsal studio in Schiphorst in northern Germany, hypnotic pieces with the kind of noisemaking the band is known for.
"For the new album, Péron and Werner "Zappi" Diermaier were looking for communication with musician friends and the audience. The tracks were recorded in changing ensembles at changing locations in the USA (during a tour in 2016). In these community recordings, with friendly support from Péron's database of field recordings, a strongly shaded noise music emerged which extends its feelers to the remotest corners of the here and now. Droning, swinging, lusting for freedom, here and there holding out quite stoically as machine-room blues.
On board are the freely fabulous Barbara Manning in a live lecture, Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps) in overdub, and Ysanne Spevack as a wonderful wave-maker on the viola. The seven and a half minute title track begins with the poem by a French school friend of Péron (translated and recited in Polish) and ends in an industrial sound inferno. The singer cries for "Fresh Air" as if it is being taken away from him. Jean-Hervé Péron offers a political reading: "Can you breathe calmly here, or are we being poisoned?" "Engajouez Vous!" Péron presents this franco-Faustian artificial word to the audience and rewrites the Marseillaise for the here and now in the track "Chlorophyl". And finally, Zappi has his mini-dada performance with "Schnobs" and "Bia": a small dialect-based text piece, which starts with chlorophyl, goes over the meadow past the cow and lands with the farmer who drinks a beer and schnapps and suddenly sees two cows.
The story of the band can tell that tale nicely. As Krautrockers, Faust had a worldwide career. On their first three albums in the early 1970s, they inhabited the vast field from improvisation to bricolage to rock'n'roll with the ease of rogues and the determination of declared sonic renegades. One can still feel the breathing of this music in current Faust pieces, in the stone-age thudding of "Fish", which Faust anticipated in 1972 on "Mamie Is Blue". "We let the music play through us," says Jean-Hervé Péron. Jean-Hervé Péron has a little tip for us: Listen to the fish.”