V (The Unreleased Virgin Promotional Cassette) - 1975
Following the release of their (now) legendary Faust IV LP and the subsequent tour, but shortly before being dropped from their Virgin label, krautrock pioneers Faust took it upon themselves to record their fifth album and run up an ongodly studio bill. Once Virgin got wind of the proceedings, the band had to quite literally escape from their studio and were subsequently arrested when they attempted to sneak back in to retrieve their tapes. Despite having been released from their Virgin contract, a promotional cassette of these sessions began to mysteriously circulate, and either because the result of those high-dollar sessions was so incredible or the fact that the tape was so difficult to come by, those who had heard it claimed it to be the finest work of the band's career. Now that the tape has become readily available some 30 years on, I lean towards the former. Filled with abstract, mechanized grooves, cut and paste collages and wildly imaginative guitar freakouts, the result is quite unlike anything happening in its day, and had it been released, would join Can's Tago Mago or Neu! 75 in the pantheon of krautrock's elite.