Moebius / Plank / Neumeier Zero Set

In the seemingly never-ending treasure trove that is Krautrock, there are more than a few hidden gems, and Zero Set is one of them. Recorded in 1983 for the seminal Sky Records, the album boasts three of the genre's most celebrated figures: Cluster's Dieter Moebius, Guru Guru drum master Mani Neumeier and producer Conny Plank (Kraftwerk, Neu!, Ash Ra Temple). Yet Zero Set is a far cry from any of the artists' work before or since, and in many ways stands as a true Krautrock oddity. Chock full of rapid polyrhythms, math sensibilities and factory-precise drums that are as futuristic as they are tribal, Zero Set often sounds like Germany's response to David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, as well as an album that sounds like a major influence on Battles' Mirrored. Of course, with Moebius and Plank involved, Zero Set offers a serious helping of dark, gurgling sequencer patterns to complement Neumeier's flawless kit work. But it's the way these tracks get so meticulous and downright math-y without overdoing it that makes Zero Set worth the trip almost 30 years later. (Bureau B)