TONY CONRAD with FAUST Outside The Dream Syndicate (1973)

Outside The Dream Syndicate
Krautrock Minimalism That Won’t Get As Many Comments As Metal Machine Music Since No One Had It On 8-Track

Though its been a staple of my own diet since ’73, I can’t really explain the union of violinist Tony Conrad and German Krautrock legends, Faust. Conrad had a storied background in the early 60s avant garde collective, Theatre of Eternal Music (alongside the likes of La Monte Young), stretching droning minimalism to its breaking point. While Faust… well, if you don’t know Faust, perhaps you should just move on (or allow the player below to enlighten you somewhat). But, I’ve never really known much about this record, myself – despite the stereo time it got and the pissed-off neighbors I came to know as a result of it. The original LP contained only two tracks, sans the “From” attachments to the titles. Track three first surfaced as a bonus on the 1993 Table of Elements reissue, while another edition adds yet another 10 minutes. Can’t tell you jack about this “limited” Ars Nova release, except what’s encoded in the plastic, which is 73 minutes, three monotonous drum beats, a drone violin and a series of fizzing, hissing, micro-evolving analog effects. It taught these teenage ears a thing or two about drug-taking music, German-style. There’s a ton more Faust in the archives. For you maniacal types, Amazon has this version (HERE, with a bonus track), a Deluxe 2CD 30th Anniversary issue (HERE) and a 2005 live version (HERE).


From The Side Of Man And Womankind (27:01)
From The Side Of The Machine (26:07)
From The Side Of Woman And Mankind (20:05)

18 Comments

  • 1
    Anonymous
    March 30, 2010 - 22:54 | Permalink

    Great Record. One of my faves. Thank you for all your work and creating this great blog-you make my day. JW

  • 2
    Anonymous
    March 31, 2010 - 00:22 | Permalink

    Julian Cope didn't include this in the top 50 Krautrock albums of all time in his superlative tome Krautrocksampler for nothing.

  • 3
    Capt. Willard
    March 30, 2010 - 22:53 | Permalink

    .
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    Search HERE
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  • 4
    Anonymous
    March 31, 2010 - 08:15 | Permalink

    Faust… Can… Amon Düül II… Ash Ra Tempel… Cluster Cosmic Jokers… Guru Guru …NEU!…Popol Vuh…Just the names of these Krautrock masters are statements of another musical approach once you start you can't stop!…just wonderful music….I put on a copy of Tangerine Dreams Rubycon a couple of weeks and haven't seen the cat since!!! or the children or the wife …6pt

  • 5
    Sister Ray
    April 2, 2010 - 01:35 | Permalink

    don't think this is bragging rights or such, but more along the lines of a bit of post-historical context. listened to the album like everyone else in the krautrock head community. never thought i'd witness it though. tony conrad lives upstate and would occasionally come down for gallery one-offs. (1st i saw was with experimental flicks at 9th and avenue B.) then, somehow, dorf at the knitting factory got faust to come over and also invited tony down and they did it. the old knit was on houston and mott, a 2nd floor walkup about the size of a double studio apartment. gig was as packed as anytime i'd ever seen it. the stage had a white sheet covering it. after jockeying for a hunk of wall for a half hour, lights went down and the pound pound pound pound pound pound of mallets, a relentless, unwavering beat began, in the dark, and a boink boink boink boink pluck of a bass e-string. then the lights go up behind the scrim and you've got three silhouettes that look archetypical as titans–vulcan and mercury, maybe–except the one in the bowler hat with the violin under his chin. and he begins sawing. this goes on for 50 minutes…and it is unchanging.

    ok. maybe that sounds boring. its more like YOU change–like somewhere INSIDE of the thump and scree you find this energy that forces you to transcend and respond. (and yes, i bootlegged it. and i know its out there floating around the net somewhere; i know because i've heard it, and its much better Q than mine.) i'm not 100% sure but it is somewhere about the 30-35th minute where some guy yelps "YEAH!" and starts this irregular shouts of "whoo!" and other expletives off the measure and without any prompting. and then there's something like a stomp from the front rows, and this resonates on wooden floor to a frightening extent. and then, around the last 5-10 minutes, the scrim drops and there they are: old art-freaks on a tear into noise that–forgive me–is as old, and as long, as the big bang.

    sorry for the length, boats.

  • 6
    Capt. Willard
    April 2, 2010 - 03:27 | Permalink

    Cool. Thanks for the visualization.

  • 7
    Colin H
    October 25, 2011 - 09:16 | Permalink

    Aside from some early TD, I’m generally pretty uneducated in Krautrock and haven’t felt really grabbed by the few things I’ve brushed past in the past… but my faith in Willard made me at least click play on the sample. Immediately, my 19 month old daughter squealed with delight and ran to the laptop and did a stompy dance to the beat. She has been riveted to it ever since, all smiles and squeals, only getting upset when it stopped for a moment as I moved to the comment page… few things I know have ever held her interest for this long. Now, I have to wonder how, as an excessivist, I will manage to deal with a minamilist daughter…

    Colin H, Cambridge, Canada

    • 8
      Willard
      October 25, 2011 - 09:31 | Permalink

      Now that’s scary. I used to hear a lotta “turn that shit off.” Something tells me, based on this early interest, that once she starts buying stuff (even weirder) on her own, you’re going to turn into one of those cranky fathers you didn’t think you’d turn into, constantly yelling “turn that even weirder shit off.”

  • 9
    buzz baby jesus
    October 25, 2011 - 09:17 | Permalink

    It’s where mysticism and music are supposed to collide. You lose yourself in it.

  • 10
    Tony
    October 28, 2011 - 18:27 | Permalink

    Another record I bought when it came out (I commented on The Faust Tapes post with the titles that Virgin records sent me). I always loved this record but don’t own the expanded CD versions. As a teenager, I was heavy into Faust, Ange, Renaissance, Spooky Tooth, Gentle Giant, Genesis, et al. At 16, I turned onto Karl Stockhausen, and we even wrote each other from then until a little before he passed away. But I remember having stuff like his Momente or Hymnen turned up with my bedroom door locked lol. The first time I ever had my Dad go, “What on Earth is that you’re playing in there? It sounds like the house is falling down!”

    • 11
      Willard
      October 28, 2011 - 19:17 | Permalink

      That’s funny.
      Really? You’ve got letters from Stockhausen?

      • 12
        Tony
        October 30, 2011 - 18:19 | Permalink

        Yes, I have letters from dating from 1977 to 2007. He also sent me lots of autographed posters for concerts, autographed CDs, one gigantic signed photo of him in the studio (I mean, it’s poster-size). all kinds of little things. My ex and I met him at a concert in Amsterdam in the Autumn of 2001 at the Concertgebouw (sp?). When I introduced myself during an intermission, he became so excited, be brought over the theatre’s manager, and said something like, “This is tony, he has been writing me from America since he was a teenager!” He invited Jackie and I to sit next to him as he mixed sound while the performance resumed. He closed his eyes and went into a trance while he was mixing all these channels that had sound going overhead, in circles around us, etc. Jackie fell asleep against him lol! After the concert we spoke with him, Suzanne, and Kathinka for quite a while. Something really hilarious happened at one point as he and I were talking but that’s another story…

  • 13
    Willard
    October 30, 2011 - 18:41 | Permalink

    Wow… that’s mighty cool.

  • 14
    Tony
    October 31, 2011 - 19:28 | Permalink

    Yeah, it was a big deal for me to meet him. The weird thing that happened is: after the concert we were all out in the lobby talking. I do have two pics of Jackie and I with Stockhausen from that moment, but doesn’t look like I can post them here I’ll be happy too if possible)? So, OK, KS and I are talking about the music, and I was going on about the speakers and the circling and overhead sound. He told me that as a listener I should not be occupied with that, but instead should just bask in the mystery of it all. Anyway (and I’ve always thought this was deliberate), a guy walked past behind us and dropped a tray full of silverware, which made an awful racket. Stockhausen stopped in mid-sentence, and goes, “What in the Hell?” I felt so sorry for him just then. I was facing where it all fell and he turned around. I have always felt that was a Response rather than accident, but who knows. He was very Electric to be in the prescence of.

    • 15
      Willard
      October 31, 2011 - 19:44 | Permalink

      Thanks for the story. I’m not sure how to post pics in comments, myself. Probably needs to be posted on Photobucket first and then some code is needed.

  • 16
    Tony
    November 3, 2011 - 18:37 | Permalink

    Check the Pics section here (see below). I put up a few of Stockhausen’s letters to me; there is another section (in Pics) of folks I’ve met and got them to autograph something (Robyn Hitchcock, Glenn Danzig, Lydia Lunch, Paul Oakenfold, etc). There’s also a promo pic of Faust that Virgin sent me around 73-74…

    http://www.myspace.com/shinjuku_weasel_party

    • 17
      Willard
      November 3, 2011 - 23:09 | Permalink

      VERY cool. Thanks for the share. The Faust and Gong pics were great, too.
      So… did Oakenfoldever ever actually see you on the dance floor?

  • 18
    Tony
    November 4, 2011 - 19:14 | Permalink

    Lol! Not only will I not get on any dancefloor anymore (at 53? forget it), but that place was so packed (it was in Washington, DC) that night that it was actually kind of scary. A friend who went with my ex and I got physically sick from the intense volume. I didn’t even know until afterwards, but the DJ who opened for him was Sandra Collins (whom I’ also a fan of) and I didn’t even know it till pics were put up weeks later somewhere. She’s been called the Hunter S. Thompson of Trance, as she has (supposedly) gotten so drunk/trashed at gigs that she’s fallen off of stages, etc. Just as with the Faust, the Gong promo pic is all I have left out of all kinds of stuff sent to me way back, including a huge poster of a PH Pixie floating in space. I can’t imagine why I would ever, being a collector, have ever let this stuff go!

    Tony

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