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Encyclopedia > Conny Plank

Konrad "Conny" Plank (frequently spelled Planck) (born about 1943 in Austria, died December 18, 1987 in Cologne) was a record producer. His creativity as a sound engineer and producer helped to shape some of the most important and innovative recordings of postwar European popular music, covering a wide range of genres including progressive, avant-garde and electronic music. Plank was as much responsible as anyone else for defining the broad genre now known as Krautrock and is arguably the unifying link between most of its disparate productions. His work has also greatly influenced studio production and engineering techniques worldwide. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... In the Gregorian Calendar, December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years), at which point there will be 13 days remaining to the end of the year. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Cologne (German:   ; Kölsch: Kölle /ˈkÅ“É«É™/) is Germanys fourth-largest city after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the performers, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes . ... Audio engineering is the branch of engineering dealing with the production of sound through mechanical means. ... This article is about the continent. ... Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... Experimental music is any music that challenges the commonly accepted notions of what music is. ... Electronic music is a term for music created using electronic devices. ... Krautrock is a generic name for the experimental bands who appeared in Germany in the late 1960s. ...


Plank and the bands he worked with in Germany had a strong influence on mainstream rock artists, some of whom were able to popularise aspects of his production technique and his highly distinctive sonic approach. In the 1980s the new generation of electronic pop bands were able to realise his ideas in performance as computerised electronic instruments became readily available.


Plank (who began his career as soundman for Marlene Dietrich) was an ardent believer in the possibilities of electronic music and a master of creating startling electronic soundscapes, but he was also adept at blending them with conventional sounds, or natural sounds given unconventional treatments, such as using large metal containers and other industrial objects as percussion instruments. Marlene Dietrich in the 1930s Marlene Dietrich (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992) was a German-born actress, entertainer and singer. ... A soundscape is an acoustic environment or an environment created by sound. ...


He was one of the first European producers to fully exploit the possibilities of using multi-track recording facilities to create dramatic production effects and treatments that acted as musical and rhetorical elements in their own right, rather than mere gimmicks. He favoured sometimes harsh-sounding effects and contrasting audio spaces for each element in the mix. His best work stands in stark opposition to the smooth, 'evened-out' sound that predominated in most commercial pop and rock at that time.


Plank used radical combinations of echo, reverberation and other electronic, mixing, equalisation, editing and tape-based effects to create mixes in which every element might be given its own highly individual sound environment, and in which each of these elements might alter radically in sound several times over the course of a track. In this he was undoubtedly influenced by the work of Jamaican pioneers like Lee 'Scratch' Perry but he was certainly one of the first European producers to adopt key stylistic innovations sourced from these reggae and dub production techniques. Lee Scratch Perry, The Upsetter in Dub Lee Scratch Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry March 20, 1936) is one of the most influential people in the development of reggae and dub music in Jamaica. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the Jamaican music genre. ...


Plank was one of the first 'name' producers to favour a very 'live' production sound, especially on drums, a sound that was strikingly opposed to the dense and heavily compressed drum sound that dominated rock recording in the 70s. Plank's open, sometimes clangorous drum and percussion sounds undoubtedly had a significant influence on producers and engineers like Steve Lillywhite, Hugh Padgham and Nick Launay. Steve Lillywhite (born in 1955) is a well-known British music producer. ... Hugh Padgham is a record producer and audio engineer, and, although he makes no claims to having any musical talent, has become one of the worlds most successful and influentual producers. ... Nick Launay is a notable record producer and recording engineer. ...


During the 1970s Conny Plank produced and/or engineered many of the most important recordings by significant German progressive/experimental music acts (given the derogratory label krautrock by the UK music press at the time), including Kraftwerk (Kraftwerk, Kraftwerk 2, Ralf und Florian, Autobahn, and the precursor album Tone Float), Neu! (all their recordings), Cluster, Harmonia, Ash Ra Tempel, Holger Czukay (Can), and Guru Guru. His long association with Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius of Cluster began in 1970 and endured until his death. Krautrock is a generic name for the experimental bands who appeared in Germany in the late 1960s. ... Kraftwerk (pronounced [], German for power station) is a German musical group which has made significant contributions to the development of experimental and electronic music. ... Kraftwerk is the first album by Kraftwerk. ... Kraftwerk 2 is a 1972 album by Kraftwerk. ... Ralf und Florian is a 1973 album by Kraftwerk. ... Autobahn (/aʊ-təʊ-bɑːn/, German for motorway) by Kraftwerk, released 1974, is often cited as one of the most pivotal albums in music history. ... This obscure LP by German band Organisation sold few copies on its UK-only release in 1970, and might have been forgotten forever had two of the band members, Ralf Hütter and Florain Schneider-Esleben, not gone on to change the face of 20th century music with their next... Neu! (pronounced noy) is a Krautrock band. ... Cluster is a German musical group whose output prefigures ambient music. ... Musik von Harmonia, Harmonias 1973 debut album. ... Ash Ra Tempel were one of the more notable German Krautrock groups of the 70s and 80s. ... Holger Czukay (born March 24, 1938) is a German musician. ... Can was an experimental rock group founded in Germany in 1968. ... Guru Guru is one of the most notable German Krautrock bands, existing from the late 1960s to the present. ... Dieter Moebius (Dieter Möbius, born 1944 in Switzerland) is a German/Swiss experimental/krautrock/ambient/electronic musician. ... // Co-founded music commune known as Human Being * 1968: Co-formed Berlin Centre for Underground Culture or Zodiak Free Arts Lab in Berlin. ...


His body of work exerted a strong influence on some of the more adventurous British and American musicians and producers. The most notable are probably David Bowie and Brian Eno, who worked together on the late-70s 'Berlin Trilogy' of albums, Low and Heroes and Lodger all of which showed the strong influence of Plank's earlier German productions. Bowie's song 'Heroes' is a virtual paean to the Plank style, featuring radical sounds and dramatic alterations of sound in various elements, such as the lead vocal, to heighten the emotional or dramatic effect; this is placed against a swirling, droning electronic backing track that interweaves elements such as multitracked synthethisers and feedback guitar. David Bowie (born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and audio engineer whose work spans more than four decades. ... Brian Peter George St. ...


Plank, via Bowie and especially Eno, in turn had a strong influence on many acts of the New Wave period in the late 1970s and 1980s. Neu!'s Hero is said to have been a major influence on John Lydon's work with his post-Sex Pistols group Public Image Limited. Eno produced an album for DEVO (another overseas act strongly influenced by Plank's work) and enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with Talking Heads and David Byrne, followed by an even longer and more successful partnership with Irish band U2. The earlier work of Australian band Hunters & Collectors also showed unmistakeable signs of familiarity with Plank's production techniques, and they were one of many international acts who recorded with him. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... John Joseph Lydon (born January 31, 1956), also known as Johnny Rotten, is an English rock musician. ... The Sex Pistols were an iconic and highly influential English punk band, formed in London in 1975. ... Public Image Ltd (PiL) is a band formed in 1978 by John Lydon, formerly and later Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. ... Devo (pronounced DEE-vo or dee-VO, often spelled DEVO or DEV-O) is an American Rock group formed in Akron, Ohio in 1972. ... Talking Heads was an American rock band existing between 1974 and 1991, composed of David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison. ... David Byrne (born May 14, 1952 in Dumbarton, Scotland) is a musician best known as a founding member and the principal songwriter of the New Wave band Talking Heads. ... U2 are a rock band from Dublin, Ireland, featuring Bono (Paul David Hewson) on vocals, rhythm guitar and harmonica; The Edge (David Howell Evans) on lead guitar, keyboards and vocals; Adam Clayton on bass guitar; and Larry Mullen Jr. ... Hunters & Collectors, often referred to as the Hunnas by their fans, were an Australian rock band, formed in Melbourne in 1980. ...


Plank's other production credits include Echo and the Bunnymen, Les Rita Mitsouko, Einstürzende Neubauten, Annie Lennox, Ástor Piazzolla, The Damned, DAF (including the classic single Der Mussolini) and Nina Hagen. Echo & the Bunnymen is a British rock group formed in Liverpool in 1978. ... Les Rita Mitsouko is a rock group formed in 1979 led by guitarist Fred Chichin and singer Catherine Ringer known for their live performances. ... Einstürzende Neubauten is an ever-changing experimental music band, originally from West Berlin, formed in 1980. ... Annie Lennox (born 25 December 1954) is an Oscar, Brit, Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning Scottish rock musician and vocalist. ... Ástor Piazzolla with his bandoneon in 1971. ... The Damned are a punk rock/gothic rock band formed in London, England in 1976. ... DAF is an influential electropunk band from Düsseldorf, formed in 1978 featuring drummer/synth player Robert Görl, vocalist Gabi Delgado, guitarist W. Spelmans and bassist/keyboardist/saxophonist Chrislo Haas. ... Nina Hagen (born Catharina Oliva on March 11, 1955) is a singer from Berlin, Germany. ...


He also worked as a duo with Dieter Moebius on four joint studio albums; the album 'Ludwig's Law's used an Emulator, an early form of sampling keyboard that enabled them to duplicate other instruments without having to deal with the musicians who played them. E-mu Systems was a synthesizer maker and pioneer in the manufacture of low-cost digital sampling music workstations. ...


In the eighties Plank remained in high demand with the new generation of electronic pop and New Wave artists, including DEVO, Ultravox! (Systems of Romance, Vienna and Rage in Eden), Freur and The Tourists (Luminous Basement)/Eurythmics (In the Garden). He also worked on pop and rock productions with artists such as The Scorpions, Clannad, Killing Joke, Play Dead, and Gianna Nannini (Latin Lover, Sogno Di Una Notte d'Estate, Tutto Live and others, also credited for music). Devo (pronounced DEE-vo or dee-VO, often spelled DEVO or DEV-O) is an American Rock group formed in Akron, Ohio in 1972. ... Ultravox were one of the primary exponents of the British electronic pop music movement of the early 1980s. ... The current members of the electronic band Underworld: Karl Hyde on the left, and Rick Smith, on the right. ... The Tourists - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Duo David Stewart and Annie Lennox in a promotional shot for their 1999 album, Peace. ... The Scorpions were a beat goup, originally from Manchester in Engeland, but they have become popular notably in the Netherlands. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Lead singer Jaz Coleman dominates the cover of Killing Jokes 1986 release Brighter Than a Thousand Suns. ... Pictured from left to right: Mark Wiff Smith, Pete Waddleton, Steve Green, and Rob Hickson For the Björk song, see Play Dead (song) For the Astrid album, see Play Dead (album) Play Dead was a British rock group that grew out of the fading British punk scene in 1980. ... Gianna Nannini (born June 14, 1956) is an Italian female singer-songwriter and rock musician. ...


Some of Plank's last work before his death from cancer was recording concerts on Eurythmics' Revenge tour, and samples used on the NED Synclavier on their Savage album. Savage is the sixth album by New Wave duo Eurythmics, released in 1987 (see 1987 in music). ...


His studio, at his home on the southern outskirts of Cologne, continued to be run by his widow Christa Fast and their son until, in May 2006, her failing health forced them to offer its contents for sale.[1]


  Results from FactBites:
 
Conny Plank at AllExperts (987 words)
Plank and the bands he worked with in Germany had a strong influence on mainstream rock artists, some of whom were able to popularise aspects of his production technique and his highly distinctive sonic approach.
Plank used radical combinations of echo, reverberation and other electronic, mixing, equalisation, editing and tape-based effects to create mixes in which every element might be given its own highly individual sound environment, and in which each of these elements might alter radically in sound several times over the course of a track.
Plank was one of the first 'name' producers to favour a very 'live' production sound, especially on drums, a sound that was strikingly opposed to the dense and heavily compressed drum sound that dominated rock recording in the 70s.
German producer Conny Plank defines Krautrock (661 words)
Dinger was an extrovert given to aggression as inspirational as it was crazed; Rother was quiet and studied, a master of minimal melody.
Plank mediated between beauty and beast, and with Neu!'s first album (recorded in four days, the first two allegedly useless), they created the Krautrock template, developing what came to be called the Motorik beat — the resolute, hypnotic, almost inhuman propulsion associated with Krautrock.
However, Plank's work with DAF and Liaisons Dangereuses started pushing those industrial sounds into what came to be known as electronic body music (EBM), which eventually mutated into German techno.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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