What we say
“Zero Set” represented a milestone in latter-day Krautrock, created in 1983 by a hugely authoritative triumvirate of the German avant-garde: Dieter Moebius, Conny Plank und Mani Neumeier. The musi
“Zero Set” represented a milestone in latter-day Krautrock, created in 1983 by a hugely authoritative triumvirate of the German avant-garde: Dieter Moebius, Conny Plank und Mani Neumeier. The musician, producer, remixer and self-confessed Krautrock fan Richard Fearless has dismantled the outstanding track “Speed Display” and bequeathed two new versions to Bureau B.
The original musicians: Dieter Moebius was a member of seminal bands like Cluster and Harmonia. He was, indeed still is, active as a solo artist and in various collaborations (with Conny Plank, amongst others). Conny Plank is seen as the definitive Krautrock producer, having worked with Kraftwerk, NEU!, Cluster and Ash Ra Tempel. Last but not least, Mani Neumeier, Guru Guru founder, figurehead
How the remixes came about: Delving into Conny Plank’s tape archives, we came across the original “Zero Set” multitracks. What a find! We asked ourselves: what would happen if these tapes fell into the right hands? Hands which know their way around a studio, understand how remixes work – whilst according the materials in question the respect they deserve. The first name that sprung to mind was Richard Fearless. Not so long ago, he had meticulously curated a 2CD/3LP compilation of Bureau B tracks (Kollektion 4), hence recommending himself as just the man for the job.
Richard Fearless: Best known as founder and frontman of the British band Death In Vegas, Fearless has clearly been inspired by Germn electronic music, as many of his albums reveal. A sought-after producer and remixer, he has worked with Iggy Pop, Bobby Gillespie, Paul Weller, Liam Gallagher and Hope Sandoval.
He once described his love of Krautrock and related movements as follows: “I always listen out for music with a sense of space; where compositions are stripped down to the barest components while retaining the power to conjure emotion. If you can trigger emotion with the most minimal amount of sound, that’s job done as far as I’m concerned.”
The remixes: The original was powerful enough, driven forwards by Mani Neumeier’s machine-like drums and incessant bass synths, yet Fearless has managed to crack up the energy levels even further. On the A-side he has grafted rhythmic patterns onto a four-to-the-floor beat and compelling bass signature. Feedback, echoing voices, a sprinkling of synth – only the most essential elements, nothing which risks overloading the mix. Meanwhile on the B-side, the original track is barely
recognizable. Fearless has plucked just a few notes from the bassline and crafted a fine slice of hypnotic electro-dub with minor chord echoes.