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music

Faust

“Krautrock”—the early-’70s Kosmische Musik of German bands like Can, FAUST, Neu!, Cluster, Amon Düül II, Ash Ra Tempel, and Popol Vuh—is currently hipper than it’s ever been. What with the boom in CD reissues, the publication of Julian Cope’s idiosyncratic guidebook Krautrocksampler, and pledges of allegiance from current bands like Stereolab, the Dead C, Flying Saucer Attack, and Telstar Ponies, now is the right time for Rien, Faust’s first studio album in two decades.

Formed in 1969 at the instigation of journalist Uwe Nettelbeck, Faust created four albums of peerless postpsychedelic/protopunk mayhem—Faust, Faust So Far, The Faust Tapes, and Faust IV—before disintegrating in 1974. Oscillating between zany absurdism and cosmic grandeur, Faust’s music was permeated with the Zen/Dada/LSD spirit of the late ’60s. But it isn’t so much the band’s hippy maximalism as its Velvet Underground–influenced

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