Sunday, 21 June, 2009

Moebius, Plank, Neumeier - Zero Set (1983)

Matthew Weiner describes it for Soulmind Online: "Though not a dance record per se, Zero Set is one of the earliest extensions of Krautrock’s possibilities on the dance floor, pitting the profoundly electronic sequence patterns of Plank and Moebius against the hyperactive percussives of Guru Guru drummer Mani Neumeier. On tracks such as the prophetically titled 'Speed Display' and 'Pitch Control', the phasing, chattering and decidedly Germanic grooves found on Zero Set constitute vibrant proto-techno at its earliest and finest." David Ross Smith, writing for Allmusic, describes the album: "...a highly percussive affair with Mani Neumeier. The album is saturated in drum and synth rhythms and polyrhythms, resulting in compositions that are energetic and infectious." Zero Set was a turning point for Moebius and Plank, a fact lamented by Steven and Alan Freeman in their book The Crack In The Cosmic Egg. They say, in part: "...working with Mani Neumeier on Zero Set strangely took the music too close to techno for comfort..."

I purchased this on vinyl around '83 and instantly loved it. To me, so many albums like this, which never were widely released and were soon forgotten, embody the real creativity of the early 80's.This could accurately be called "intelligent dance music", long before the term was ever coined. It uses sequenced, rhythmic electronics combined with a live drum set -- perfectly syncronized. It is relentless without being monotonous. Every track is unique. Raw rhythmic energy with intricate, shifting layers of accents...
Robert Wilks,

Moebius & Plank - synthesizers, keyboards
Mani Neumeier - drums
Deuka - vocals on "Recall"



icastico said...

Thanks for this one. Sounds great.

pro messaz said...


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Anonymous said...

Thanks! I think RastaPasta is every bit as much a dance record; albiet a different genre of dance which is paced, as with reggae, to be near the normal heartbeat...relaxed and grooving. Unfortunately most dance music, since disco and through techno, has provided a soundscape that requires an incessant 120+ beats per minute engineered to be exciting, though it often helps to produce a feeling of anxiety and a desire to imbibe stimulants to keep your heart moving along in time with the beat.

Anonymous said...

thank you again,

bravo juju said...

thanx to all for the feedback!

Dear anonymous, Zero Set is, i may say, a kind of "nervous-jazz-rhythmfreak-electro" album, more a spaced-out record than a dance record. The expression "dance music" was transcribed from the original quotes, but may not be the more accurate term to describe the album - "compositions that are energetic and infectious" may be a better expression.
Rastakraut Pasta is a more "relaxed" album, flowing from rock to reggae, which contrasts with the solid-concept present in Zero-Set - that's why we prefer this last album.
Nowadays the "mainstream" shows "most dance music has provided a soundscape that requires an incessant 120+ beats per minute engineered to be exciting", but we shall not forget ballrooms, ethnic styles or other dance expressions - each one of us should find the fittest dance genre to our likes!


stefan said...

brilliant record! many thanks for the share

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