Karl Bartos, former member of electronic pioneers Kraftwerk and Elektric Music, was on BBC 6 Music yesterday speaking to Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie about his recent album, Off The Record.
Comprising material from his Kraftwerk days right up to the present, the album takes in a range of influences and emotions in an attempt, says Bartos, to cover the whole “European landscape”. Amongst discussing British weather and northern soul, when asked about his Kraftwerk roots and the influence it has on his solo work, Bartos said: “I’m not trying to get away [from being that guy], but I am ambivalent.”
Kraftwerk’s opening show at the Tate; incredible, say OMD
This article is taken right of the BBC website, we own no rights to the content, enjoy
The first of eight shows by German electro pioneers Kraftwerk has taken place at London’s Tate Modern. Among the 1,250-strong crowd were Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, whose music with Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark has been heavily influenced by Kraftwerk. What did they make of the performance?
McCluskey described it as “the best multimedia arts project on the planet”.
“It gets better and better. I saw them three-and-a-half-years ago at the Manchester Velodrome and now that the whole show is in 3D, with surround sound, it’s incredible.
“It’s amazing that 40 years into their career, they’re still relevant.
“The whole remit of Kraftwerk, when they moved away from that early jazz krautrock roots, was that they were trying to get away from Anglo-American cliches. When I saw them in 1975 they had their names in neon lights and they had some projections.
“They were already quite minimal but they were moving away from the cliches. This now, with the whole show in 3D, is taking it to the nth degree, 30 odd years later. It’s a wonderful extra string on their bow.
“I have to admit… some of the songs reflect the fact that they are so distilled that it’s hard to put [visuals] to them, but for two hours the whole show was incredible.”
Fellow OMD member Paul Humphreys added: ” To move from concert halls into museums is the perfect move for them, because even from the very beginning they were performance art, except they were playing in concert halls.”
“They have changed a couple of things,” noted McCluskey.
“It’s noticeable that Radioactivity has now become an anti-radioactivity song. And Ralf is now singing in Japanese. We thought they’d changed some of the words to Man Machine – made it slightly more sinister and negative.
“Because the music is so highly conceptual they are able to mutate and twist it. They’re not going to play the exact same song with the same riff and the same lyrics, they can vary it and it’s quite an interesting concept,” he said.
“For us it was incredible to hear both comet melodies live. This is what’s incredible about this series of concerts. They are going to play tracks that they have never played live before. The Autobahn album – trimmed down – is not very long, so the rest of it was essentially their highlights, their greatest hits.”
Humphreys added: “They are one of the most important bands for popular music.
“People say the Beatles were the most important band to change popular music but I think Kraftwerk were. Their DNA has permeated the blood of bands since then. There’s parts of Kraftwerk in all the popular music today.”
Original article can be found here >>
It is FINALLY here the new song and video from synth maestro Karl Bartos (ex-Kraftwerk)
The former member of Kraftwerk makes a future-world theme song for the Brussels building.
Out on February 1st is the new Karl Bartos single “Atomium”. The single will be released as a limited 7″ on the Bureau B imprint. The single is the first to be taken from the new Bartos album “Off the Record” which will be out on March 15th.
For those that don’t recognize the building on the cover artwork, it’s the Atomium, a gigantic model of an iron crystal, erected for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels. The 7″ will hold the title track in English on the A-side and in German on the B-side. Karl Bartos’ next studio album “Off the Record” holds 12 tracks that were recorded over the course of two years. The first run of the CD version will have an extensive 44 pages booklet.
Next to a CD version there will also be a vinyl edition in 180 gr. first quality heavy vinyl (including the CD in a cardboard sleeve). A deluxe edition of this set will be out as well strictly limited to 1000 copies. It will be coming with an over-sized, 20 pages booklet in a deluxe gatefold-cover.
You may also want to read the exclusive interview we made with Karl in the spring of 2012 >>
Following on from Laibach’s incredible Retro Monumental Avant-Garde performance in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall earlier this year, we are thrilled and excited to announce that Kraftwerk are to play the venue between February 4th and 16th 2013. The band will be performing an album every night as part of the KRAFTWERK – THE CATALOGUE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 series, previously seen in New York and Dusseldorf.
Chris Dercon, director of the Tate Modern, said: “As a former power station, Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall is an ideal venue for Kraftwerk’s explorations of technology, energy and rhythm. Bringing together music, video and performance, these events will be true gesamtkunstwerk – a total work of art.”
Tickets – priced at £60 per show – go on sale next Wednesday, December 12 at 7:30 am. You will be able to buy them exclusively here.
Wed 6 – Autobahn (1974)
Thu 7 – Radio-Activity (1975)
Fri 8 – Trans Europe Express (1977)
Sat 9 – The Man-Machine (1978)
Mon 11 – Computer World (1981)
Tue 12 – Techno Pop (1986)
Wed 13 – The Mix (1991)
Thu 14 – Tour de France (2003)
METROLAND – ‘Mixing The Gap’ EPCD
Out now is a brand new video from the Kraftwerkian Belgian duo Metroland. The video “Harry Beck” (in a remix by Növö) is dedicated to Harry Beck, an English engineering draftsman best known for creating the present London Underground Tube map in 1931.
Original version taken from album Mind The Gap
Remixed by Laurent Boudic under Növo
Edited from EPCD Mixing The Gap
Video edit by HC Carbo
Harry Beck (real name Henry Charles Beck), is a name you most likely will not know, even though a great deal of us have already been using his creation or have seen alternative versions of it.
Neither did we know Mr Beck, but at the time when we were figuring out what to take as art for the album we went on the internet looking for some interesting pictures. It is there where we stumbled upon Beck and his ‘creation’.
Harry Beck was an English engineering draftsman best known for creating the present London Underground Tube map in 1931. This map seems so common to every one of us these days, but in the early 1930’s it wasn’t. The company of ‘London Underground’ was initially skeptical of Beck’s radical proposal — it was an uncommissioned spare-time project, and it was tentatively introduced to the public in a small pamphlet in 1933. It immediately became popular, and the Underground has used topological maps to illustrate the network ever since.
Beck had the idea of creating a full system map in color. He believed that passengers riding the trains were not too bothered about the geographical accuracy, but were more interested in how to get from one station to another, and where to change. Thus he drew his famous diagram, looking more like an electrical schematic than a true map, on which all the stations were more or less equally spaced.
Knowing this, we were sure it was a nice idea to pay homage to such an interesting character, which eventually inspired us, convinced no one has ever done this before. So we looked for more information, films, documentaries, whatever we could find on Harry Beck. And from a shipload of information, we distillated that sample that to us seemed the essence behind the complete story: ‘form followed function’. At the same time we decided to take this slogan as the essence of our project and album.
This song was the last addition to the album. It was first intended to be part of a download EP, but the final result was so good that we both decided that Harry Beck deserved a spot on the album.
As for the remix, we asked Laurent Boudic from NÖVÖ again, as he already delivered us a true marvel of ‘Theme For Metroland’. The result is stunning: a surprising remix which brings you back to the late 80’s when the famous UK electro label Mute Records released their limited 12inches. They always contained that sort of remixes that had a hint of the original, still containing enough interesting other sounds on top. Massive rework, great style, but what else would you expect ? Laurent is Belgian as well !
Big budget promo video for Andy Hagerty’s cover of the Kraftwerk classic ‘Neon Lights’. Rumours that it was directed by JJ Abrams have not been confirmed, but Industrial Light and Magic were definitely not responsible for the effects!
Buy this cover version from iTunes at the link below.
Robots, Daleks, Knightrider, and a Ghost from PacMan. What is there not to like about this video!!
OFF THE RECORD – THE NEW ALBUM FROM KARL BARTOS, EX-KRAFTWERK – RELEASE DATE: MARCH 15TH 2013
Karl Bartos’ new album is an audio-visual sensation! Lost for many years, some of his early music has been reconceived and re-contextualised in a thrilling modern setting. Here’s the story: during Kraftwerk’s heyday Karl Bartos wrote – off the record – a secret acoustic diary. Based on his musical jottings – rhythms, riffs, hooks, sounds, chords and melodies – this is what he has come up with today: twelve brand new, exciting, timeless songs.
KARL BARTOS – THE MELODY MAKER
Karl Bartos is well-known as one-quarter of the “classic” Kraftwerk line-up. Many of their most influential rhythms and memorable melodies were actually conceived in his home studio. They would later be used on an unstoppable succession of hits from the Düsseldorf band as they ascended to the lofty heights of popular music culture.
As a major contributor to The Man-Machine (1978) and Computer World (1981) Bartos has had a decisive influence on Kraftwerk’s music. Rolling Stone author Mike Rubin says of this years: “there’s something timeless and universal about their songwriting of this period.”
The Kraftwerk team went on to achieve worldwide success and cult status: in 1982 The Model became a UK number 1. The track has become a classic in the history of music, along with The Robots, Metropolis, Neon Lights, Numbers, Pocket Calculator, Home Computer, Tour de France, Musique Non-Stop and The Telephone Call. Kraftwerk have been one of the most sampled artists of all time, and there have been countless cover versions of their songs. In 2005, perhaps the biggest rock band of the time Coldplay incorporated the melody from Computer Love into their hit Talk. Almost all of the group’s best-known tracks date back to the “classic” line-up. In 2012 Kraftwerk performed a retrospective of this repertoire in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Karl Bartos left the band in 1990. Subsequently he became an independent producer and writer – for his project Electric Music, as a solo artist, and also together with fellow friends and musicians – Bernard Sumner (New Order), Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and Andy McCluskey (OMD).
In 2004 he co-founded the Master of Arts course “Sound Studies – Acoustic Communication” at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK), where he was a visiting professor, teaching Auditory Media Design up until 2009.
OFF THE RECORD – THE ALBUM
For Off the Record, Karl Bartos has opened up his music archive for the very first time. He rediscovered and analysed hundreds of tapes, piles of sheet music, and years of digital media. Inspired by his acoustic diary and adding his experience as a composer and producer, he has created twelve brand new songs – written and performed with masterly skill.
It took him two years to accomplish this original Bartos album: iron crystal music, vocoder newspeak, robot sounds, digital glitch, techno pop, catchy melodies, electronic avant-garde, roaring silence, futurism, and, of course, those rhythms! Rhythms of brutal minimalistic impact as found on the much-sampled Numbers recorded three decades ago and described by Mike Banks of Underground Resistance as “the secret code of electronic funk.”
ON TOUR – LIVE CINEMA
For Bartos, music alone has never been enough! Fascinated by the interplay of image and sound Bartos also works with the medium of film – the latest example of which will be seen on the Off the Record tour in 2013. Forget about technical nostalgia in 3-D; instead tune into LiveCinema: 90 minutes of music and film – rhythmical, modern, intelligent.
Released by: Bureau B
Release/catalogue number: BB079
Release date: Mar 15, 2013
You may also read the interview we did with Karl during the spring of 2012
Kraftwerk will be playing live for the first time in over 20 years back in their hometown of Düsseldorf in Germany. Spread over 8 nights, the pioneers of electronic music will play their entire oeuvre. Krafwterk which was founded in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider already did a similar event in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in April 2012. Just like in New York, every evening, a full album (but also other work from their catalog), will be played.
Radioactivity – Kraftwerk 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Retrospective #1 Autobahn at the MOMA NYC
Luftrum 9 is a soundbank for DIVA set to release in start November. The soundbank contains cinematic pads, gentle arpeggios and synth emulations inspired by Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Royksopp, Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, William Orbit etc. but also a few soundscapes, sound effects and strings found their way to the soundbank. 2/3 of the soundbank are pads and arpeggios – so it’s pad arp haven. Since DIVA doesn’t contain an arpeggiator yet, all arpeggios in the YouTube audio demo were made with the Kirnu Arpeggiator – which is free to download.