A fascinating overview of Plank’s career
Attempting an overview of a career like Conny Plank’s is no mean task. A true visionary who was as prolific as they come, Plank left his mark on countless albums as a producer and musician, playing a pivotal role in the development of electronic music along the way. However, ‘Who’s That Man …’ is almost impossible to fault as both an introduction and a sort-of ‘greatest hits’ set.
Spread over four CDs, it’s a remarkable collection, albeit one that, out of necessity, hardly scratches the surface of Plank’s discography. Disks one and two are probably the best places to start, featuring many tracks that the enigmatic German helped to sculpt – from Eno to D.A.F. and back via NEU! Particular highlights are the cuts from Moebius and Plank, a collaboration with Dieter Moebius (Harmonia, Cluster), but in general the sheer level of sonic invention is unmistakable, and captivating.
Disk three is the biggest attraction for longstanding followers of Plank, featuring numerous remixes of his tracks by contemporary figures. The results are inevitably bound to provoke debate, but ambient artist Jens-Uwe Beyer’ (Popnoname)’s contribution is worth the price of admission alone.
Finally, the fourth disk is a surprisingly moving testament to Plank’s prowess in the live arena, even shortly prior to his death. A recording of a performance with Moebius and Arno Steffen it’s as intriguing a listening experience as one could hope for, lent especial profundity by the knowledge that Plank’s untimely death from cancer was just around the corner.
In effect, this is a worthy purchase for everyone from electronic music dilettantes to Plank completists. Brilliant stuff.