Since their mid-90s reformation post-20 year hiatus, Faust have produced some stunning material. "Ravvivando" in 1999 and 2004?s surprisingly coherent collaboration with hip-hop experimentalists Dälek on "Derbe Respect, Alder" are particularly noteworthy. Notoriously difficult to pin down, and this here's no exception, Faust still make music as relevant to this era as it was to the 70s. As a testament to durability, "Kleine Welt" is a collection of live recordings brimming with all the variety we've all come to know, love, and require.
"Ablach" begins in kraut-terrain, pulse-drumming and mantraic bass. A few minutes in, and everything is soaked in Eastern mysticism: a sparse terrain of shuffled drums and sustained vocals, flowing into "I Was Shy Before", with delayed vocalising echoing over bare-boned psych-riffs. "Auf Frostigem Boden" reassures you that Faust haven't lost their ethereal capacity: a concoction of fleeting oscillations, space-age synths and downtempo jazz rhythms. This segues unnoticeably into "Crawling Wax", which suitably drags the album into crawl-speed, but it soon picks up a kraut-urgency ploughing it towards the 17 minute mark, gradually rising in intensity. The final song triplet brings the album into Les Rallizes Denudes-esque psych-overdrive: the fuzzed-up guitar-work and extended organ of "Thru"; the Faustian approach to harmonica-laden blues-rock of "Jet Set Lady"; and the cavernous submergence of screaming guitar in the closer "Terrorize Me". And then you're alone, aching for more.
For a mixture of three different live performances from 2006, "Kleine Welt" is astonishingly fluid. Out of Faust's expansive discography, it's not the best place to start, but it's not an inconceivable distance away. For those disappointed by the quality of last year's bloated "In Autumn" 4 disk box of live recordings, this is certainly the best post-reformation document of Faust. It's a pity that nothing recorded can begin to prepare you for their electrifying shows. 8/10 -- David Ainley (18 June, 2008)