Issue 35 PDF Edition

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Issue 35

What is a music producer? Is their role that of technical expert, able to place microphones in just the right place? Is it their deep knowledge of EQ and effects and signal-to-noise ratios that qualifies them to be in charge of a recording session? Or are they some kind vibe master who creates the atmosphere needed to coax the finest performances from temperamental artistes? Or are they strangely skilled in the arcane knowledge of The Song, constructing with unerring accuracy the necessary key changes, bridges, until it is a piece of art worthy of pressing into vinyl.

Psychologist, accountant, drug hoover, disciplinarian, visionary, electronics wizard, radical experimenter, experienced parental figure, midwife, hand-holder, host, lover, pal, sound obsessive, music lover, deal maker… Conny Plank was all of the above.

With this issue of Electronic Sound, we place Conny centrestage and celebrate his work, and we scarcely mention Kraftwerk. Plank’s contribution to music is almost immeasurable, and although we’ve devoted the cover story to him, and talked to several key players in his life, including his son Stephan, whose new documentary about his dad got this month’s ball rolling, we feel we’ve hardly scratched the surface.

In other news, the ES team decamped to the Indulgence Show last month in London, and stumbled about being impressed by the multitude of high-end audio gear on display. We do wonder what Plank would have made of it all. I expect he would, like us, have sat in stunned wonder listening to the surround mixes of Kraftwerk’s ‘3-D The Catalogue’.

Also within these pages for your reading pleasure The Don Of Techno (or should that be the Jack Dee of Techno?) Dave Clarke shoots the breeze with us, we go backstage with Düsseldorf prepared piano outfit Grandbrothers, visit Claire M Singer’s ‘Organ Reframed’ event at Islington’s Union Chapel (her thing is the church organ, which is quite a thing and should be used more widely, despite them being bloody huge and generally stuck in churches), we find out all about the wildly popular ‘Welcome To Night Vale’ podcast, Kevin Godley talks us through the making of Godley & Creme’s ‘Cry’, there’s Andrew Hung, one half of 50 per cent of Fuck Buttons, on his splendid solo album, and we talk to Thomas Dolby – at last – about his, frankly, amazing life so far in light of his book making it out in paperback.

All of that, and of course our usual Front and Back sections featuring all the best new toys and tech, album reviews, interviews, Jack Dangers and his School of Electronic Music, the hilarious Fat Foland, Kris Needs, and a few other little surprises along the way.