Zero Set cover

Two of the kraut cohort’s most important people are here—drummer Mani Neumeier and producer/engineer/musician Conny Plank. And Dieter Moebius! There are varying reports about what this is allegedly doing, ranging from early hip-hop (no) to My Life In The Bush of Ghosts-style cultural collage (more yes but no). I think it’s better to hear this as a testament to Neumeier, absolutely as important as Leibezeit and Dinger, as well as to Plank and Moebius, infinitely flexible across dozens of albums. Even in this slightly goofy tech-centered mode—all the tracks are named for functions on a reel-to-reel tape deck—there’s a power and texture here that slaps today without diminishment.

Sasha Frere-Jones