Top 40 Over 40.24: Zero Set

1982:  I was 12 years old and listening to James Taylor.*  Ouch.

I could have been listening to an album that came out that year by Moebius, Plank, and Neumeier called Zero Set.  That would have been a better outcome for all concerned.


Conny Plank (above) would have been 42 when this came out, which qualifies it for our Top 40 over 40 series, even though Dieter Moebius was then only 38.  Drummer Mani Neumeier was also qualified, being born in 1940 like Plank.

Neumeier is a particularly interesting player mani neumeieron this album.  The blend of his live playing with Moebius & Plank’s largely sequenced (though still eccentric) electronics help keep this album from the rote predictability of much of the techno it later inspired.  The clash of the acoustic and the electric still feels fresh in 2018 … aaaand Neumeier is still playing today (with headphones, apparently.)

It’s largely instrumental music with the exception of the the below track Recall, which features a Sudanese singer named Dueka, (according to Wikipedia,) about whom I know nothing, LMK if you know more.

Enjoy, JHD


Postscript: in his earlier ’30’s, Moebius participated in the recording of one of my favorite Krautrock jams with Harmonia ’76, Vamos Campaneros:


…. and Moebius remained active right up until his death in 2015, with three posthumous albums appearing in 2017 following up on 2014’s Nidemonex.  Respect and RIP Dieter!


*Footnote: this paragraph has purposefully excluded pertinent information in the interest of rhetorical posturing.  The band I listened to the most in 5th/6th grade was The Police, for whom I retain much more musical appreciation, despite their blond narcissism and generally shallow imperial outlook. I did, however, have a James Taylor songbook, and the first concert I saw was a solo performance by JT on Boston Common I was taken to by a friend’s parents.  He played a few songs with a tape machine, with which he carried out some very staged stage banter…. Let’s just say things got better in 1984 when the first Run-DMC record came out.



Dieter 2

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