This post is actually a re-up… from a different blog altogether. Back before I first started in 2007, the very first music sharing blog I gravitated to, and was completely floored by, was The Heat Warps. A place that seemed to tickle every musical interest that tickled me. I eventually downloaded most of the site, learning to trust the instincts and concise commentary of the author – JR Heat Warp – even when I wasn’t familiar with a particular artist or release. Since The Heat Warps provided a direct pipeline to my wants and needs, I wrote JR to thank him for his work, and he offered me a valuable lesson. More in deeds than words. He graciously gave me his time, as well as a few pointers, and encouraged me to start my own, first attempt at blogging, Never Get Out Of The Boat. It didn’t stop there. As a fan of Harry Nilsson (The Heat Warps hosted a handful of Nilsson albums), we eventually collaborated on the start-up of For The Love Of Harry, a dedicated blog that has, over the years, gotten a bit out of control, boasting virtually every kind of Nilsson rarity you could ask for. When things got hot at Blogger in 2010, JR moved on, but kept his work in place (now called The Heat Warps Archive). Unfortunately, dying links (and dying link hosts) have taken their toll on the site’s music availability, and that’s why we’re re-posting two items that we had previously linked to at THW for years. You’re still encouraged to visit The Heat Warps Archive, if only to see how music sharing blogs should be written, with a sincere dedication to the music and not as a platform for know-it-all ego gratification. The good news… is that a new edition of The Heat Warps is very much alive and well, hosted over at Tumblr, and you’re invited to visit JR and say howdy. In the spirit of the true meaning of an oft overused phrase, JR is a gentleman and a scholar, and chances are you wouldn’t even be seeing this blog were it not for his lead. Below you’ll find JR’s original text for two cool items from Faust, the bonus disc outtakes from the brilliant, Faust IV, and Faust V, a rare cassette-only promo release that, in typical THW fashion, surprised this long time fan by its mere existence. Thanks for everything, JR.
Faust IV – Outtakes and Alternates – 1973
Because even one of the most adventurous albums of all time starts to sound “tame” after the 700th listen or so… Released as a companion disc to the 2006 reissue of Faust IV, this collection of Peel Sessions, alternate takes and full-length versions not only serves as revealing, if somewhat cockeyed look at the band’s masterpiece, but holds its own against the actual album in terms of the way it still manages to sound light years ahead of its time. All told, this is hardly an odds n’ sods collection. “Krautrock” is presented in its early Peel Sessions mix, which includes much of the same 7-minute psychedelic drone intro as the original but the ending features far more subdued drumming and percussion than the version that would appear on the album. The band’s warped pop gems “Giggy Smile”, “Sad Skinhead” and “Jennifer” are all given the “alt mix” treatment with the addition of a few stray textures that were trimmed before making it onto the LP. The unquestioned gem here however, is the unedited 10:32 version of “Just a Second (Starts Like That!)”. An epic guitar head swirler which, in true Faust fashion, goes nowhere specific and everywhere else all at once. Even if you’re not familiar with the original LP, this collection will turn you upside down and sideways. - JR Heat Warp, The Heat Warps Archive
V (The Unreleased Virgin Promotional Cassette) – 1975
Following the release of their (now) legendary Faust IV LP and the subsequent tour, but shortly before being dropped from their Virgin label, krautrock pioneers Faust took it upon themselves to record their fifth album and run up an ongodly studio bill. Once Virgin got wind of the proceedings, the band had to quite literally escape from their studio and were subsequently arrested when they attempted to sneak back in to retrieve their tapes. Despite having been released from their Virgin contract, a promotional cassette of these sessions began to mysteriously circulate, and either because the result of those high-dollar sessions was so incredible or the fact that the tape was so difficult to come by, those who had heard it claimed it to be the finest work of the band’s career. Now that the tape has become readily available some 30 years on, I lean towards the former. Filled with abstract, mechanized grooves, cut and paste collages and wildly imaginative guitar freakouts, the result is quite unlike anything happening in its day, and had it been released, would join Can’s Tago Mago or Neu! 75 in the pantheon of krautrock’s elite. - JR Heat Warp, The Heat Warps Archive
Speaking of Faust… there’s plenty more in our archives, including The Wumme Years 1970-73 (Faust, So Far, The Faust Tapes, 71 Minutes & BBC Sessions+), Patchwork 1971-2002, Williamsburg Music Hall, 2009 and Outside The Dream Syndicate (with Tony Conrad)