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Dieter Moebius - Zero Set (with Plank and Neumeier) CD (album) cover

ZERO SET (WITH PLANK AND NEUMEIER)

Dieter Moebius

 

Progressive Electronic

3.59 | 5 ratings

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Guldbamsen
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3 stars A perfidious slap on the box

A lot of bull has been said about the so called drop in musical quality during the 80s, and if one only chooses to judge said decade by what the biggies from the 70s were dishing out, then I can somewhat understand people's rather vile vocal secretions. As I have previously stated, I think there was a huge amalgamation of wonderful music happening outside of the English speaking world, and especially the former communistic countries were now experiencing their own 70s so to speak. Apart from that, I also have a huge collection of RIO and avant releases from this decade that I absolutely adore. So much happening on that front - all happening just beneath the surface of things, that you needed special antennas and eardrums to pick up the beat and flavours. Sadly, one of my favourite styles of music underwent some of the same horrible changes as the big dinosaurs did all through the 80s. Electronic music was indeed a giant plastic party - soaking all of the horrific synthesizer sounds up like a giant sea sponge without any sense of funnelling out the weak and soulless bits.

Zero Set is a collaboration between famous Krautrock producer Conny Plank, Guru Guru drummer extraordinaire Mani Neumeier and one part of the Cluster duo, Dieter Moebius. Everything I just said about the 80s and how the sounds and experimentations went south in the electronic quarters, at least from my point of view that is, still stands regarding this release, although instead of coming off like a new age plastic bag with all the umphh of a kitten fart, all of this sonic deceit and falsehood gets served up in a metallic and unwelcoming dressing. This is, essentially, electronic punk. It doesn't feature low- brow profanity and chromatic riffing, but it wields a distinctive primal caveman energy that propels the music forward like a bull-ringed cherokee-wannabe-street-warrior from 1983, who's tired of all the fake mainstream insanity sneaking suspiciously into everything around him.

Moebius' electronics are a mish mash of squirming feline screeches, naive kindergarten melodies and a big boot-full of the kind of dance orientated sounds and trickery you'd encounter in movie soundtracks from around the same time. The end result is disturbing and void of any feeling - especially when you mix all of this up with the robotic and harsh drumming from Mr Neumeier as well. Now, I am a huge fan of this man's style, but I continue to be amazed of just how many different sonic appearances this guy has. He can be all over the place - rumbling like a caged baboon on cocaine, but when he chooses to, he comfortably slips into something infinitely more vague and slithering - now sounding bonkers and off- beat like only he can. Those people who have heard him freak out in Guru Guru or just standing in on other band's albums probably know what I'm on about, as his persona always has a way of shining through on even the most minuscule of cameos. Eclectic is probably the word I'm looking for...

Anyway, this album is all about this rhythmic meeting, where electronics meet strange exotic drums and adventurous percussion. You could call it forerunner to the IDM(Intelligent Dance Music) scene happening nearly 10 years later, I actually think I've read that somewhere, but that doesn't seem to do it justice in any way, because like I said previously, the punk-like attitude that rumbles through the reins like a distracted teenager is the key here. I do not think this album would have gone down easily with the punks, but the abandoned and misanthropic moods that prevail here take absolutely no prisoners. It sweeps across this release like a huge vacuum cleaner - sucking up every little colour, emotion and sign of human empathy. It is an ode to concrete and metal. It's deliberately perfidious - exposing all of our plastic handbags, neon earrings, Converse shoes, microwave ovens, bubble gum philosophies and stock market sensibilities - like were they man's self-inflicted debt to himself for being so reckless and imaginative all through the 70s. "No, this certainly won't stand! We need to prioritise our values and put things through machines and great big banks".

This album exposes the plastic for what it is: plastic. And for that it should definitely earn the respect of the punk generation. It certainly has mine. 3.5 stars.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |

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