German Rock


Moebius & Plank: Rastakraut Pasta (Released in 1980, Rating 4)

2.Rastakraut Pasta
3.Feedback 66
1.Missi Cacadou
2.Two Oldtimers
3.Solar Plexus
Produced by Moebius & Plank

Conny Plank is the most important person in the German rock scene. He produced many important works of Kraftwerk, Neu!, La Dusseldorf, Cluster, Harmonia and DAF. He also produced the works of Ultravox, Eurythmics, Killing Joke. Plank was the person who respected the artists original ideas, but there are common features in the works Plank produced. Very solid but physical sound. Plank as a musician, Moebius/Plank was the only project of his own.

Moebius was the member of Cluster. Cluster was made of Roedelius and Moebius. While Roedelius represents the natural and romantic side of Cluster, Moebius represent the radical, artificial and joyous side of the group. Moebius always seems to play with instruments like toys.

So, this is the first album of Moebius/ Plank. As you can guess from the title, this is the instant mixture of Reggae and German electric rock. The Reggae taste is strong in News, Rastakraut Pasata, and missi Cacadou. Heavy Bass sound is comfortable. Holger Czukay played Bass on A-3, B-1, and B-2.

I prefer the tracks B-2,3,4. They are not Reggae , but they are rather familiar Cluster sound. Particularly, the weightless sound of Landebahn is superb. At this moment, Moebius/Plank's music was very strange in the conventional standard, but they were not strange enough in their own standard.


Moebius & Plank: Material (Released in 1981, Rating 4+)


3.Nordöstluches Gefühl 
Produced by Moebius & Plank

In this record, the radical feature of the Moebius/Plank is painstaking. Thy use one idea for one track, or they use one or two ideas for one record. Very simple, minimalism. The sound became much stranger than Rastakraut Pasta. In Tollkühn, the auto-run synthesizer keeps making the curious sound by itself. Though it seems to be very cheap idea to try, this is full of joys to play with the synthesizer as a toy.

Actually, many people have tried this kind of things and recorded them on the tapes when they first bought the synthesizer. But I guess none can make this intense and everlasting sound. I don't know the reason why. I don't know how old they were when they made this records. They looks like average middle-age men, but they are really radical. None in the younger generation in German New Wave can reach this intensity.

Rastakraut Pasta (1980) and Material (1981) are now on one CD. A good buy.


Moebius/Plank/Neumeier: Zero Set (Released in 1982, Rating 5)

1.Speed Display 
3.Pitch Control 
1.All Repro 
3.Search Zero 
Produced by Moebius, Plank & Neumeier

This is one of the greatest albums in German rock history. The album had been long forgotten or ignored, but suddenly regarded as a proto-techno album in the mid-1990's. It was told this album was No.5 hit in techno chart of NME in 1994!

Yes, you can hear this as a techno music, very speedy auto-run synthesizer and drumming. This is the mixture of the electric machine and human physical machine. The cover art exactly expresses the sound-image of this record. The African tribal warrior in the modern underpass. The sound reaches the minimalism. In Recall, Sudan singer sang/speak.

YOU MUST HEAR THIS! (no more comment)


Moebius & Plank: En Route (Released in 1995, Rating 3+)

1. Automatic
2.Don't Point The Bone
3. Drum!
5. Muffler A
6. Pick The Rubber
7. The Truth?
8. Prehistoric
9. Die wirren
10. Muffler B
11. Don't Point The Bone (Remix)
12. Automatic (Remix)
13. Prehistoric (Remix)

Conny Plank died in 1987. This material was recorded in 1986, and suddenly released in 1995 with surprise. The sound concept is the continuation of Zero Set. Don't Point the Bone really sounds like DAF. Cool!

This is not merely the out-take album, and I don't see why they haven't released this when it was recorded. It was because the death of Plank? Or their ambition was very high, so, they might not be happy to released a similar album.


Moebius/Conny Plank/Mayo Thompson: Ludwig's Law (Released in 1998, Rating 4)

2.Das Apartment 
3.The Truth? 
4.Ludwig's Law 
6.Farmer Gabriel 
8.Taras Bulba 
9.Boy Boy Boy 

This material was recorded in 1983, and rereleased in 1998. This was also a surprise release. How many out-takes Plank had in reality? I see no reason this was not released in 1983.

Mayo Thompson is the leader of Red Crayola, the legendary avant-garde rock group. Thompson is kind of lost American who wander around the world. His singing, or speaking, introduces the different intensity to Moebius/Plank music. Sometimes, this sounds like Eno/Byrne's My life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981) , and sometimes sounds like Robert Ashely.