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Art Zoyd - Faust CD (album) cover

FAUST

Art Zoyd

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.89 | 27 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Back in 1926, a famous director, F. W. Murnau, made a German film called "Faust". This was a silent movie and obviously had no soundtrack. After viewing the film, Art Zoyd decided to make a soundtrack full of electronic music to correspond with the film. These are the tracks from that soundtrack. After the completion of the soundtrack, the film was shown a few times to the public with this music playing. I haven't seen the original or the one with the soundtrack, but if you have listened to this album and wondered how this music came to be, now you know. I have read the plot line for the movie and it seems to be quite a complicated plot for a silent movie, but apparently, it is a highly rated movie. Basically, it deals with a demon making a bet with an angel that he can influence a just man to be evil. The just man is Faust. This is a rather dark movie and I don't want to give away the ending, but even when all seems lost, good eventually triumphs even over death.

The music here is quite dark and full of mostly sinister sounds and moods. The music is all electronic except for the addition of cello and some vocals, most of which have been electronically manipulated. There is a lot of percussive sounds also mostly created by keyboards. The music is interesting enough and very engaging when listened to through headphones in a dark room. The pieces are mostly short except for three of them, the finale being over 11 minutes in length. But the tracks pretty much run into each other and can almost be taken as one continuous suite. The music is also completely avant garde music almost that can flow from ambient to noisy in a moments notice. There are a few places where there is a standard rhythm, and overall, the music is not inaccessible, but it is still far from any popular sounding music either. There is no real formulaic pattern to the music either. Yet it remains a very interesting listen and seldom gets boring.

This is highly recommended to anyone interested in film music, avant-prog or Rock in Opposition music or even electronic music. It is similar to Univers Zero and even some of Ulver's more eclectic music. The only thing that bothers me is that I enjoyed Art Zoyd's natural music in their earlier albums more, but this is still well done. I think the music loses something when it's not seen with the movie that inspired it and I wouldn't mind hearing it in context with the movie. Anyway, as an album standing on it's own, I can still consider it a 4 star recording, but you do have to be in the right mood for it. But when you are, it is an excellent example of avant-prog.

TCat | 4/5 |

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