The recent spinning of the great Irmler/Liebezeit LP got Disaster Amnesiac to thinking about the other guys in Faust, and, thankfully, I managed to score a copy of what appears to be their most recent waxing, Faust & Omar Rodriguez-Lopez-Clouds Hill.
I'm not exactly sure what the rift between Irmler on the one hand and the Diermaier/Peron tandem on the other entailed (or, perhaps more optimistically did not), but, listening, what's clear is the latter men seem to be developing their aesthetic into an even messier realms. Disaster Amnesiac means this as a high compliment!
As opposed to the clean lines and Zen order of Liebeziet's drumming, Zappi's rumbling pound sounds relatively primitive. That said, both men retain the disciplined feel, so much pioneered by the German Psychedelic movement post-1968, with its Minimalist foundation. Diermaier's sound just has a lot more overt wildness to it; his spaces seem less considered, more off the cuff. Perhaps the difference between driving a brand new BMW on an empty autobahn or a reconfigured Panzer tank through an onion field sums it up. They'd both be worth the experience, but their individual feels would be so much at odds. The latter would most definitely come with tons more grit, as Zappi's drumming surely does, but would be thrilling in it's own right, as his drumming surely is.
Jean-Herve Peron's front man action remains as inspiring, freaked out and other worldly as I imagine it was from Faust's very beginnings. Clouds Hill's image of him, as he wields his bass guitar as if it were some type of weapon shows a lot. He gets some great, blasting, outright Noise tones from his rig. To go back to the Irmler vs. Peron idea, whereas the former seems to be developing his sound in a traditionally more forward linear fashion, the latter sounds as if he wants to go back, moving to some ever more primal scream. I like both. The decision should be the provenance of the artist, and both men are indeed that. Jean's declamatory vocals on this 10"s sole track, This Is Not Music This Is Not Us And We Are Not Here, are also great. I can't make out what he says in French, but his German and English lines describe fingers and arschelochs having eyeballs, Omar's 26 hour flight to the gig, and, most understandable of all, his admitting of a desire "only to COMMUNICATE!!!"
Third man Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is a fascinating guy. Disaster Amnesiac has tried more than a few times to dig his band Mars Volta, to little effect, but I love his Gold Standard Labs label's output. He seems to be content with a sort of background role on Clouds Hill, coloring around the drum beats and vocals, almost laying out for minutes on end, but he definitely gets some nice processed guitar crunches in. His retiring presence is intriguing, and, in light most music industry narcissism, just cool. Hopefully he managed to get some rest after the gig.
To get back to the Faust split again, I'd have to say that Irmler is making sounds that are a bit more refined in their Psychedelic aesthetic, while Peron and Diermaier continue to "go back to the caves" for their inspiration. The good news is, of course, there's lots to appreciate from both methods.