Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Uwe Nettelbeck (1940-2007) (Three Cheers For)

Describing Faust's success, Uwe Nettelbeck said in 1973: "The idea was not to copy anything going on in the Anglo-Saxon rock scene – and it worked..."

When I came across Nettelbeck's statement yesterday, I was struck by its acuteness and accuracy. The music Faust produced, whether it's your cup of tea or not, is unlike anything of its time. In fact, in its almost "found" inventiveness and infinite-seeming variety, it's almost as if everything that wasn't currently being done and hadn't been "included" in the "Anglo-Saxon" rock scene found its embodiment and full fruition in Faust's music. Sometimes it seems that they had observed and fully taken into account what was already "out there", excluded it from further consideration, and then gathered everything else in the world for inclusion in their recordings.

Their business approach (Nettelbeck's) was also fresh, free, untraditional and efficient. And as for attacking and destroying many UK concert stages with pneumatic drills, what can you say? I assume that even the pretty much unshockable Pete Townshend and Iggy Pop were both impressed. Versatility is not just a positive quality, it's virtue, I believe.

So, three cheers for the great Uwe Nettelbeck. Here's a nice early shot of Nettelbeck (at the recording console on the left-hand side of the photo) and Faust and a picture of the Egyptian Stargate that appeared in the news yesterday. Everything's still possible, no matter how hard they try to march you into corners.

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