Courtyard of the Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy

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Lustfaust: A Folk Anthology 1976-1981

’‘Lustfaust were really a blueprint for “Einstürzende Neubauten”. Without their presence and developments, our band would have never existed.’

Blixa Bargeld interviewed by Jason Gross, 1998.

Lustfaust occupy the unusual position of having been enormously influential to a variety of performers that followed in their wake whilst remaining largely unknown to the majority of listeners. Lustfaust were a band you had to be informed about, not a band you could inadvertently stumble across, such was their community cohesion.

Based in Berlin at the heart of the cold-war struggle over the city’s tenure, Lustfaust’s internal dynamic reflected that of their home city; independent, communal, segregated, schizoid - a band and a city in perpetual flux. Lustfaust were comprised of session musicians who were employed at the same studio and primarily fronted by the antagonistically extrovert Peter Kruger. They initially formed through a mutual distaste for the inoffensive music that it was for the most part their job to produce.

Featuring a Japanese jazz drummer (Matsushita ‘Bobby’ Kazuki,) a Belgian guitarist/multi-instrumentalist (Guido Van Baelen), a German bassist (Hans Berger) and the California-born German/American Kruger, the band was a curiously international mixture.

Lustfaust’s oeuvre perfectly captures the cerebral pomp and primal energy of a band that inhabited the uneasy middle ground between krautrock and punk. Their combination of a bellicose on-stage presence, instrumentation through found objects such as cement mixers and pneumatic drills, and the use of an anti-capitalist community-based model of distribution (if you sent the band a blank cassette, they would return it with their latest release) spawned the Dadaist Geniale Dilettanten movement of the early 1980s and pioneered the burgeoning cassette culture of the late seventies.

What remains of the band’s legacy is largely derived from their ardent fanbase; a transatlantic group of like-minded individuals who have generously donated their collected documents that trace the band’s existence and history. Among these documents are fan-designed cassette cover art, homemade apparel and badges, fanzines, and a healthy collection of bootlegged gigs, each of which elucidates the informal origins of Lustfaust through to their acrimonious end.

dandelion & burdock


In 2009, artist Jamie Shovlin invited us to perform with his manifestation of fictional German seventies noise-rockers Lustfaust during their highly anticipated set in the courtyard of the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina (MADRE), as part of the annual Napoli Teatro festival.

We have performed with Lustfaust as a recurring part of their live collective since their ‘reformation’ in 2007, and we saw the festival as an opportunity to reinforce and develop our creative relationship, by designing a spectacular performance unique to the occasion.

THE IDEA: The concept was devised following our proposal of a number of ideas to Jamie, before deciding together on a simple, geometric abstraction exploiting the architectural features of the museum’s courtyard. The aim of our visuals was to create a memorable visual component to the performance, rather than to assert an interpretation on Lustfaust’s experimental sound with narrative imagery. THE

PROCESS: The visuals we designed incorporated the physical space of the museum’s courtyard into Lustfaust’s performance by dissecting the facade of the building into layers and superimposing the resulting geometric images on to the architecture, highlighting and contrasting with the building’s classical style. Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza, who was responsible for the renovation of the MADRE’s antique courtyard, was in the audience on the night of our performance with Lustfaust. Following our performance, he commended our visuals and the effect they created, saying ‘the architecture thanks you’.

This event was the debut of our new ‘Glasnost 2.0’ live visual software, a system that enables us to create three-dimensional stage visuals that account for perspective and physical form in the performance space.

dandelion & burdock’s visuals are designed to work in harmony with the performance space, working with elements of physical architecture and perspective to construct an atmosphere using the contrast of space, sound, light and darkness. For this, they pioneered custom-built live visual technology, designing an advanced system that would allow them to fully control and individually tailor visuals to each project, resulting in an immediate, real-time response to the intricacies of an artist’s live performance.

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