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Dieter Moebius - Rastakraut Pasta (with Plank) CD (album) cover


Dieter Moebius

Progressive Electronic

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4 stars Here's another slice of cultural nonconformity from an enduring musical tradition (Krautrock) that always manages to sidestep easy classification, This was the first of several overlooked albums made by Dieter Moebius and Conny Plank, the former a founding member of the celebrated techno-ambient team of CLUSTER (he was the one responsible for the odder noises generated by that band), and the latter a legendary producer who, perhaps more than any single person, was responsible for putting German music on the map.

Add the sonic wild-card of kindred spirit/guest bassist (and ex-CAN guru) HOLGER CZUKAY, and the sum is an unpredictable package of (mostly) instrumental weirdness, with a lyrical title that all but itemizes the various influences brought to the studio.

It's not a very long album, but there's a lot happening in its brief 35-minutes. The mock electro-reggae of the title track and "Missi Cacadou" (complete with silly vocoder interjections and saxophone farts) is only the tip of a very wide iceberg. Elsewhere there's the industrial/tribal stomp of "News" (driving a cacophony of pirated broadcast chatter), and later the hypnotic, throbbing over-amped guitars of the aptly titled "Feedback 66".

The flipside of the original vinyl has a more easygoing disposition, moving from the dreamlike ambient space-jazz of "Solar Plexus" (backwards voices, assorted noises, and an electric piano wired through what sounds like every flanger in Cologne, where Plank had his celebrated studio), to the sunny rhythm-boxed groove of "Two Oldtimers". With a lilting melody played on (acoustic) guitars and piano, this track (at 7-minutes the longest on the album) suggests a glimpse of what the men-machines of KRAFTWERK could have sounded like, minus all their trendy cybernetics.

This album and its likewise recommended 1981 sequel "Material" were later re-packaged together onto a single CD: a near-indispensable bargain for anyone with an ear for odd music, especially coming out of Germany in the late 1970s. Krautrock was always more an attitude than a style, and in the hands of these two pioneers it never sounded more playful or creative.

Report this review (#108448)
Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This album has been released by two krautrock legends, one (Dieter Moebius) is the founder of the hypno-minimal electronic band Cluster and the second (Conny Plank) is a musical producer. The collaboration could be musically perfect and a valuable source to get into kraut-space age. However the result is close to disaster. It combines kraftwerkian robotic beats and sci-fi catchy pop melodies with Neu! like fuzzy post-rock distortion and atrocious New Agey, cheesy synth chords. The image on the cover and the name of the album easily illustrate the content. There's voluntary a lot of fun and derision in the method of composition and in aesthetics. Soft, candid, retro electro-pop. Difficulty recommended. Concerning ex-Cluster projects, I warmly advise to get in touch with the much more accomplished Liliental.
Report this review (#180689)
Posted Sunday, August 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

Another offshoot from half of Cluster, Dieter Moebius, this time with production Kaiser Conny Plank in the latter's most essential studio in the outskirts of Cologne. The third "stooge" happens to be Holger Czuckay and his bass on three of the nine tracks, ranging from 1:30 to 7 minutes. Coming with a bland toothpaste artwork, this album was released in 79, which is rather late for pure Krautrock release, but as the first part of the title, the music is a bit up to date, since there is the odd track featuring a reggae beat.

Despite a seemingly binary bass line that could've been Czuckay's , the opening track News has a hypnotizing seemingly square drumming beat made from electronic doodles, courtesy of Dieter, as is that aforementioned bass. Guitar death throes and piano cords gratings and echoes are also audible. The title track is a weird reggae beat on a binary beat, and you'll find a variation of the same in Missi Cacadou. Other tracks can vary soundwise from Tangerine Dreams to the electro-pop of Kraftwerk or some Cluster (Zuckerzeit). I wouldn't call this album essential or even worth the detour, but if you're into the stranger facets of Krautrock, this album could make you happy.

Report this review (#275696)
Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Review Permalink

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