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Der Plan "Die Letzte Rache"

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► Der Plan (Moritz R®, Frank Fenstermacher, Pyrolator) were instrumental in ushering in the German New Wave (NDW) and are considered free spirits of synthesizer pop: electronic music created with minimal means, sometimes experimental, playful or even bordering on dilettantism, but always with a sense of humour.
► “Die letzte Rache” (1983) was the soundtrack to the cult film of the same name by Rainer Kirberg—and at the same time a varied and thoroughly entertaining journey to the musical world of Der Plan.
► Bonus feature: the six pieces from the film “Der Grottenolm”
► available on CD (digipak), vinyl (180 g) and download

Retrospectively, it makes perfect sense that Der Plan created a soundtrack. For one thing, visuals were almost as important to Der Plan as their music. And if every self-respecting pop band pays attention to wearing the right clothes at the right time (or the completely wrong ones at the right time) and designing pretty album covers, Der Plan went further—with scenery, masks and album covers designed by Moritz R® they invented their own universe.
Indeed, the sounds of everyday life woven into Der Plan’s music contributed to the filmic quality of their sound.

Thus Frank Fenstermacher, Moritz R® and Pyrolator were not slow in responding to their old friend Rainer Kirberg’s request to work on his latest film “Die letzte Rache”. The director Kirberg, born in 1954, studied film in Düsseldorf. They all knew each other from shared lodgings, political meetings and the local hangout Ratinger Hof. As well as playing his part in the music, Moritz R® also came up with the sets, whilst Frank Fenstermacher secured a minor role as the inspector’s sidekick. (Rainer Kirberg’s latest film, the highly acclaimed “Das schlafende Mädchen” hit the screens in January 2013.)

But back to the music: “Letzte Rache” was a kind of revue with silent film qualities, so the soundtrack was a decisive factor. With the aid of the Emulator 1, Der Plan succeeded in recording something which could also work as a diverting radio drama without moving images. In contrast to the two previous albums “Geri Reig” and “Normalette Surprise”, which defined the “Plan sound” and virtually did without any musical quotations, echoes of jazz can be heard on “Die letzte Rache” and, of course, film music. Andreas Dorau weighs in with a bona fide pop hit in the guise of a “Junger Mann”.

Ah yes, the film itself, what is it actually about? Following the aesthetic tradition of 1920s German Expressionist cinema, “Die Letzte Rache”—the last revenge—tells the hair-raising tale of a ruler who charges the “Worldly” with the task of finding him a successor. The problem is: idiots abound. The Worldly’s search is fruitless and—sometimes the most obvious solutions are the most practical—he decides to seize power himself. At the end of the day: the ruler’s empire in ruins, the Worldly goes mad, the inspector in jail (arrested by his own assistant!), the ruler badly injured yet immortal, suffering terrible agonies.


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With 36 tracks clocking in at 40 minutes, this 1983 album by these German loons did little to dispel already prevalent Residents comparisons. But who cares? Short songs, silly voices, ever-inventive pop-cultural references; if only The Residents always made records this good! With a far wider musical palette than the Post-Fab Four ever had at their disposal (including leader Kurt "Pyrolator" Dahlke's use of early Emulator 1 sampling technology), Der Plan pioneer the sounds and styles that we've recently become acquainted with via the works of Momus, Etienne Charry and Bertrand Burgalat. Everything is possible! Recorded as the soundtrack for an experimental film (title translates as "The Last Revenge", dir. Rainer Kirberg) the album functions essentially as something of a one-penny opera.
Well, that's my two cents, anyway! Don't hesitate. [JG]


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