Saturday, April 20, 2013

Karl Bartos

So I know you've all been staying up late, your brain on an endless loop, legs thrashing, unable to concentrate because of one thought running through your head, "What exactly has Karl Bartos been up to?" Bartos (and since you've been losing sleep over hin, I assume you know this)was not an original member of Kraftwerk, but he played some self-constructed electronic percussion instruments on highly regarded Trans-Europe Expressway and Man-Machine, among other Kraftwerk albums. He has also been involved in a bunch of other projects including: Electronic (with Bernard Sumner andJohnny Marr), OMD (with Andy McCluskey), Information Society (USA), The Mobile Homes (Sweden), and Anthony Rother (Germany), as well as making records for his own project entitled: Electric Music.

And now he's made a new solo album.

It's called Off the Record and it is about as shiny and glossy and machine-ish-ly precise as you'd expect. The Quietus says:

Off The Record is based on a "secret acoustic diary" compiled by Bartos during his Kraftwerk days. The composer/producer extraordinaire has rifled through his "musical jottings" to create these new, remarkably fresh-sounding compositions. Dramatic opener 'Atomium' features pulsating bass, stabbing synths and narration from a heavily cybernated tour guide. "Welcome to one of the most emblematic buildings in the world..." announces Bartos, or Professor Hawking, or Twiki from Buck Rogers. Constructed for the Expo '58 World's Fair, Brussels' Atomium symbolises "the rise and fall of the atomic age". Exploring time, travel, landscape and radioactivity using electronic instrumentation and androidy vocals is all very Kraftwerkian, but this is no act of arrested replication. To the remnants of his old group's sounds, Bartos adds a harsher, almost oppressive industrial edge which even threatens to tumble into noise music at around the two-minute mark, when he hurls a bag of swirling, tempestuous fuzzery into the mix. What better way to mark his return?

I like it -- and I categorically dislike autotune, of which there is a bunch -- so why not check it out?

Also a short film called "Without a Trace of Emotion"

No comments: