Album review

Conny Plank

Unlike so many flashy, in-your-face producers, determined to scream down your throat why they are so special, Conny Plank preferred to sit back. This sprawling four-disc tribute to the legendary German Krautrock producer includes efforts from acts whose names have become synonymous with his thanks to his production efforts – Neu!, DAF, La Düsseldorf, Michael Rother – as well as remixes from bands influenced by his work including Einstürzende Neubauten, and EYE from Boredoms.

His trademark sounds abound – spacious bass and creeping, ebbing synths lurk like spies in some ’70s thriller. The sounds come from both superstars (Eurythmics) and cult artists (Streetmark, with a raw and very alienating take on ‘Eleanor Rigby’) and what unites them is the authority Plank has stamped over the sound, no doubt with a fair bit of creative tension flying between the two. He didn’t just tell you how wonderful you were, he’d entice you to show him why you were so wonderful and, therefore, worthy of his attention. Four discs (or even, four lots of downloads) is a hell of a lot to listen to in one go, so the best way to approach this is an hour at a time. You’ll be able to see the sound ageing and developing and this set will take you on a true journey.