Zero Set

BB 037CD BB 037CD

In 1983, Dieter Moebius (Cluster) and legendary producer Conny Plank teamed up for the third time, resulting in the Zero Set project, originally released on Sky Records. On this occasion, they were backed up by one of the best drummers on the German rock scene: Mani Neumeier of Guru Guru. Moebius had gotten to know and admire him as the live drummer for Harmonia (Moebius, Roedelius, Rother) and during the recording sessions for their second album (Deluxe). Plank, usually more of a background figure as producer, takes an equal share of the limelight alongside the musicians. His supermodern studio is brought into play like an instrument in its own right; Plank explores the full range of audio editing, pushing recording techniques to the limit to achieve maximum brilliance and plasticity. Neumeier uses all of his many years of experience as a drummer, demonstrating the precision and stamina of a drum machine, just infinitely livelier and more inventive. And finally, to Moebius: always one of the patriarchs of German electronic music, a creator of the most bizarre sound happenings, yet never sounding forced or arbitrary. On the contrary, he consistently worked within the context of the tracks themselves and their relationship to each other. The music on Zero Set flows both smoothly and energetically. No single idea is overplayed, and none of the tracks hits the 10-minute mark. Aural and musical structures are concentrated to the point of askesis, yet there is no mistaking just how much the musicians are relishing playing together -- these are the two very different, yet defining characteristics of the album. The trio is unsentimental in their use of technology, exploiting it as an effective tool in pursuit of their musical vision. Moebius Plank Neumeir are three musicians at the top of their game and far too smart to allow their efforts to drift into psychedelic meanderings. Infectious, tribal motorik rhythms chunder along to dark synth squelches and squeals, that all feels exquisitely-placed with factory-precision. An important and mystifying chapter in the legacy of Krautrock/Kosmische Musik and a historic moment in German electronic music. "Recall" features Sudanese vocals by Deuka.