Conny Plank - Who's That Man

A progressive odyssey and essential education
Clash Magazine Album Review - Conny Plank - Who's That Man

An inventor, creator and connoisseur of sound, it’s difficult to overstate Conny Plank’s influence on the avant-garde electronic exploration of the ’70s and ’80s. An engineer who left his production mark on everyone from Neu! to Eurythmics. Brian Eno to Kraftwerk, he was both seduced and obsessed by the possibilities of electronic sound.

Twenty-five years after his death, ‘Who’s That Man’ revisits the mind and methods behind the simmering noir soundscapes and the clinical motorik beats in a monstrous, retrospective box set. Comprising an experimental cast of thousands, sympathetic remixes, rarities and live recordings, it’s both a progressive odyssey and essential education.

From the industrial agitation of Pyschotic Tanks’ ‘Let’s Have A Party’ to the sweeping melancholy of ‘Leb Wohl!’, and the crazed psychedelics of Ibliss’ ‘Drops’, ‘Who’s That Man’ cuts a rich and varied cross section of the textures and techniques that helped define and characterise two decades. Let the discs seep and you’ll hear the itchy cymbal beat on Roedelius’ ‘Regenmacher’ that’s driven Kieran Hebden’s sound, or the clean, synthesized 4/4 beat that still resonates today. Plank once said: “Everybody earns the sound they end up with.” You feel that this is a fitting tribute.

8/10

Words by REEF YOUNIS

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