April 2, 2010 Playlist

The Conny Plank Special
Konrad Plank (1940-1987)
"Zuckerzeit" by Cluster (1974)
Cluster  "Zuckerzeit"  1974 (Germany)
Hans-Joachim Rödelius and Dieter Möbius are the legendary electronic music duo Cluster, second in fame and influence only to their countrymen Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider from Kraftwerk (what is it about electronic duos?  See also Margouleff & Cecil and Perrey & Kingsley.)  Besides being pioneers of the "krautrock" sound, Cluster and Kraftwerk also both collaborated with the legendary Conny Plank, the subject of this month's special.  Though Kraftwerk stopped working with Herr Plank after their breakthrough hit "Autobahn", Conny worked with Möbius and Rödelius for nearly 20 years and played a key role in all of their classic albums.  Perhaps Cluster's most groundbreaking release was this 1974 LP, which is a rare example of a record that bridges the gap between avant-garde electronics and catchy pop music.  Michael Rother from NEU! also collaborated on this record, and would go on to form the trio Harmonia with the boys from Cluster (and Conny behind the mixing desk as always.)  Brian Eno also joined the mix for a while in the later 1970's (Eno also produced Devo's debut at Conny's studio during this era, right before hooking up with Talking Heads.)
Möbius and Rödelius are both still active musicians today and maintain their own websites.  There isn't much video footage of Cluster back in the 1970's, so here's Cluster live in 2007 -- add Michael Rother and you've got Harmonia live in 2007!   The latest iteration of the group subtracts Rödelius, leaving just Rother & Möbius live 2007!
Artist Song Album Year Country
Kraftwerk Autobahn (edit) 7" single version (Exceller 8 compilation LP) 1974 Germany
Kraftwerk Kristallo Ralf Und Florian 1973 Germany
Organisation Noitasinagro Tone Float 1970 Germany
NEU! Super NEU! 2 1973 Germany
La Düsseldorf La Düsseldorf La Düsseldorf 1976 Germany
Sweet Smoke Silly Sally Just A Poke 1970 USA/Germany
Scorpions Leave Me Lonesome Crow 1972 Germany
Dies Irae Witches Meeting First 1971 Germany
Eloy Eloy Eloy 1971 Germany
Kraan Yellow Bamboo Andy Nogger 1974 Germany
Exmagma Jam Factory (For People Insane) Goldball 1974 Germany
Guru Guru Ooga Booga Känguru (Kangaroo) 1972 Germany
Möbius - Plank - Neumeier Recall Zero Set 1983 Germany
Cluster Caramel Zuckerzeit (Sugartime)
1974 Germany
Cluster Marzipan Zuckerzeit (Sugartime)
1974 Germany
Cluster Heisse Lippen (Hot Lips) Zuckerzeit (Sugartime)
1974 Germany
Möbius & Plank Miss Cacadou Rastakraut Pasta 1980 Germany
Cluster & Eno One Cluster & Eno 1977 Germany & UK
Ultravox Vienna Vienna 1980 UK
Deutsch Amerikanishe Freundschaft (D. A. F.) Mein Herz Macht Bum (My Heart Went Boom) Alles Ist Gut (All Is Well) 1981 Germany
Devo Jocko Homo Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! 1978 USA
Whodini Rap Machine Whodini 1983 USA
Ash Ra Tempel Amboss Ash Ra Tempel 1971 Germany
Bröselmaschine Gedanken (Thoughts) Bröselmaschine (Grinder) 1975 Germany
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