Remember your Speak&Spell? Well, this is what it was doing while you were asleep. While you dreamt of MacGuyver in your bunk bed, your Speak&Spell would sneak out the back door and attend all-night mixers where other devices would drink, carouse, and with luck maybe get a hardware handshake going on - and Farben's Textstar was playing the whole night.
Or not. All pretense and fantasy aside, this is a great album of analog electro that works just about anywhere. It's a collection of songs from a series of EPs over the years leading up to Textstar, and while there are certainly different styles present, they are all recognizably Farben. It's good, but as funky electro goes, it's a little too strange to find in a boutique store, and not hip enough to be on the radio. On "Live at the Sierra Tahoe, 1973" and "Beautone," a sound is established that is pretty much unique - repetitive, heavy in the low end, limited samples, lots of analog synth, not an original set of parameters but Farben makes it his own. On tracks such as "Bayreuth" he explores more ambient territory, albeit not without a beat. Just throwing in a triple negative there to keep you frosty. Anyway - on "FF" he approaches Daft Punk with a more sampled, poppy sound, and the final track is almost too smooth, at the Kruder & Dorfmeister/Thievery Corporation level though without the emptiness that usually accompanies that kind of music.
Textstar is great music and I've had it in rotation for years. As long as you're cool with the general type of music - funky, instrumental, a little repetitive - you'll be good with this. It's excellent and fits almost any occasion, with napping as a possible exception. Give it a shot, and let the electronic burps and synthetic wind take you away.