CONNY PLANK The Potential of Noise Cleopatra Entertainment (DVD)
To be honest I hadn’t heard of Conny Plank before watching this film, and to be even more honest I don’t feel I know much more about him after watching this. However, I do now know that he is one of the most influential sound engineers and record producers of the 1970’s and ‘80’s.
From 1973 onward Plank helped to innovate and shape German modern music through his work with, amongst others, early Scorpions but it is his work with Nue! and more importantly Kraftwerk that changed the face of the musical landscape for many an emerging artist, as the list of artists he worked with after that will prove.
It is through Conny Plank’s son Stephan and producer Milena Fessman that we get to hear about this influential career that was cut short in 1987 by his untimely death. Plank’s career included ground breaking work the likes of Devo, Killing Joke, Ultravox, The Eurythmics, Kraftwerk, The Scorpions and a whole lot more New Wave and European bands to boot.
It is through interviews with some of the artists involved that we get to understand what an important part of their sound Plank helped to shape. You just need to listen to Ultravox frontman Midge Ure describe how Plank transformed their biggest hit “Vienna” to get an understanding of what a creative genius Plank was.
There is also a look at his old studio and some of his equipment, and the gold discs. You see, Plank also worked with a host of German pop artists and even had a hand in early Hip Hop, and it is at this point that you suddenly realise that had his career not been tragically cut short in 1987 then maybe we would all know more about him? ***
Review by Nikk Gunns
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