MOEBIUS AND PLANK
Fans of krautrock should hopefully automatically know the name Conny Plank, hospital the record producer/engineer behind the console for the first several Kraftwerk albums, salve and who also worked in various capacities with Cluster, Brian Eno, Neu!, Ultravox, Devo, Can, Kraan and Guru Guru. Wikipedia sez:
“Plank (who began his career as soundman for Marlene Dietrich) was an ardent believer in the possibilities of electronic music and a master of creating startling electronic soundscapes, but he was also adept at blending them with conventional sounds, or natural sounds given unconventional treatments, such as using large metal containers and other industrial objects as percussion instruments.
He was one of the first European producers to fully exploit the possibilities of using multi-track recording facilities to create dramatic production effects and treatments that acted as musical and rhetorical elements in their own right, rather than mere gimmicks. He favoured sometimes harsh-sounding effects and contrasting audio spaces for each element in the mix. His best work stands in stark opposition to the smooth, ‘evened-out’ sound that predominated in most commercial pop and rock at that time.”
Dieter Mobieus was one half of the duo Cluster, and collaborated with Plank on five albums over the course of the 1980s, under the moniker Mobieus & Plank. Their first two albums, “Rastakraut Pasta” and “Material”, are masterful slabs of blurpy weirdness, full of mystery, smiles and syrupy velocity. Again, Wikipedia sez:
“‘Rastakraut Pasta’ was released in 1980 on the Hamburg-based Sky Records label. It featured offbeat and experimental electronic music, at times influenced by reggae as the album title suggests. All instruments and vocals are credited to Moebius & Plank except for bass on three tracks which was played by Can alumnus Holger Czukay. The second album, ‘Material’, was released by Sky in 1981 and featured driving electronic rhythms on most of the tracks. Steven and Alan Freeman, writing in ‘The Crack In The Cosmic Egg’ describe the first two albums, in part, this way: “Their early albums as a duo were revelations of innovation, bringing unlikely combinations of industrial rock, cosmic and even dub music (on ‘Rastakraut Pasta’) together in a hybrid of genres. A reborn spirit of Krautrock that played recklessly with offbeat forms…” The incessant, forceful beat on ‘Conditionierer’, the opening track of ‘Material’, could easily have been suitable for club dance music if not for all the odd electronic sounds added on top.”