It took 20 years to get the mysterious Faust
back in the studio, and Rien
was the baffling result. With only two members of the original group left, the sounds on Rien
owe more to their impromptu, anarchic, industrial noise concerts in 1992 than any of their original work and should be taken on a different level as almost a different group. With the weight of nostalgic expectations against them, Faust
did what they could to separate themselves from their past. The first track, for instance, is pure silence; the second is mostly feedback, with segues into environmental sounds of a cold (presumably) windy day, children playing in the background. Gone are the lyricism and melody, and even the prog-rock aesthetics of the original group. Only track five, a drum and drone with the lyric "listen to the fish," retains some of the early style. Producer Jim O'Rourke
wisely refrains from copying Uwe Nettlebeck
's work with the group but gives shape to Faust
's sound. Older fans will be puzzled, newer ones will be interested.