Moebius, Plank & Neumeier

Zero Set

Bureau B • 1983

Krautrock techno, largely handmade, from 1983? Yes, it all existed. It wasn’t called that back then, and it didn’t exactly sound like what was being made in Detroit at the time. Dieter Moebius of Cluster, producer Conny Plank, without whom large parts of Krautrock and other formative developments would probably not have existed, and Guru Guru drummer Mani Neumeier experimented with repetitive grooves. With sequencer-controlled synthesiser patterns and a pulsating beat untypical of rock, they landed on »Zero Set« with something that could, without exaggeration, be called club music »avant la lettre«. The special thing about this encounter is the meeting of very different temperaments: the quirky gadget tinkerer Moebius, the studio genius Plank, who had also helped to bring the harsh sounds of D.A.F. into the world a few years earlier, and the ethnomusically well-versed rock innovator Neumeier with free jazz experience. This mixture is evident in the fearless use of electronic sounds as well as in the unobtrusive polyrhythms. None of this is an exhausting conceptual work, but rather an electrifying invitation to dance to new sounds. The participants seemed to be satisfied with this album and did not continue their research. Sadly.