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Le Guess Who? Preview #4: FaUSt's Jean-Hervé Peron
Christian Eede , July 29th, 2021 10:14

Peron discusses X-ray records and classic Faust albums in the latest instalment of our Le Guess Who? preview series centred around the coinciding Mega Record & CD Fair in Utrecht

Ahead of this November's Le Guess Who? festival in Utrecht, we are presenting a series of previews centred around the coinciding Mega Record & CD Fair, and artists playing at the festival.

Last week, Matana Roberts recommended records by Loraine James, Sun Ra and Alan Lomax, among others, and this week, in the fourth instalment of the series, faUSt's Jean-Hervé Peron, a founding member of the legendary Krautrockers, steps up to tell us about the records that he will be looking for if he gets a chance to check out Europe's biggest record fair during this year's Le Guess Who? Read on below for his thoughts.

Le Guess Who? will this year welcome the likes of William Basinski, faUSt, Pa Salieu, Ana Roxanne, Vladislav Delay, Jesu and Vanishing Twin, as well as guest curation from Lucrecia Dalt, Midori Takada, John Dwyer, Phil Elverum and Matana Roberts. The Mega Record & CD Fair will run alongside it in Utrecht. You can find more information about the fair here.

Le Guess Who? will take place from November 11 to 14, 2021. Find more information here.

Which three records would you be on the hunt at the Mega Record & CD Fair?

Jean-Hervé Peron: No specific names, but a very specific type of vinyl, the 'ribs' records. These are the ones made in Russia, under Stalin's regime, when all raw material was confiscated for military purposes, and the vinyl lovers produced records on discarded X-ray films.

When / how did you get to know these records, and why are they special to you?

JHP: I heard about these recordings decades ago, probably in a stoned-out-of-our-heads conversation with music freaks. I did not really believe it until recently when an internet friend sent me some information. Wikipedia confirmed everything, and my curiosity was awakened anew.

What album have you listened to the most over the last year?

JHP: For professional reasons, I had to listen over and over to the Faust catalog from 1971 to 74, especially Faust IV, and enjoyed it very much. It is so far back, 50 years! I could listen to the music as if it was from another band.

What is the LP that most epitomises 'freedom' to you?

JHP: Well, those 'ribs' recordings are certainly a strong statement about freedom. Monsieur Stalin was not very inclined to tolerate anything that would endanger his mad ideology, and art is something that always questions the establishment, proposes new perspectives, suggests new ways – no good for a totalitarian regime. Even when they knew their lives were at risk, the people continued to print and distribute such records. In our western civilisation, the only risk you encounter when being "artistically revolutionary" is being ignored or classified as ridiculous... mais le ridicule n'a jamais tué personne.