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.
Out now for the US market is the Tangerine Dream album “Under Cover” via Cleopatra Records. The 14-track collection features founding Tangerine Dream member Edgar Froese and the band re-imagining songs from David Bowie, The Beatles, The Eagles, Chris Isaak, Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, the Goo Goo Dolls, Leonard Cohen, Depeche Mode, and more.
If you want to hear what to expect, you can already check out “Space Oddity”.
Each member of the band selected the tracks that resonated the best with them. Froese chose “Everybody Hurts,” Space Oddity,” and “Heroes” on which he played synth, mellotron, and provided vocals. Percussionist/drummer Iris Camaa selected “Wicked Game,” “Hotel California,” and “Iris.” Flutist and singer Linda Spa chose “The Model,” “Suzanne,” and “Forever Young.” Thorsten Quaeschning, main vocalist and synth/guitar player, chose “Cry Little Sister,” “Precious,” and “Hallelujah.” Guitarist Bernhard Beibl elected to cover “Norwegian Wood” and “Wish You Were Here.”
“Under Cover” track list:
- Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)
- Everybody Hurts (REM)
- Precious (Depeche Mode)
- Space Oddity (David Bowie)
- The Model (Kraftwerk)
- Wicked Game (Chris Isaak)
- Hotel California (The Eagles)
- Suzanne (Leonard Cohen)
- Heroes (David Bowie)
- Forever Young (Alphaville)
- Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)
- Norwegian Wood (The Beatles)
- Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
- Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
More Kraftwerk tunes coming your way, here’s a new cover of Spacelab by ‘organfairy’, details below:
After discovering that there is a vocoder effect in the multitrack part of CoolEdit pro I have thought about how I could use it. And then a couple of months ago someone suggested to me that I should play something by Kraftwerk.
And now I have added these two factors together and played the classic track “Spacelab” that was originally recorded back in 1978 on the album Man Machine.
Apart from the vocoder software and the old Telefunken microphone I use Yamaha HE-8 and Technics SX-C600 organs, Roland SH-2000, Korg Poly 800, and Roland JX-8P synthesizers, and finally the little Wersi M.A.X.1 module for the rhythm.
Most of the sounds are only treated with some reverb or echo. But I had to speed up the sequence in the beginning in post production because that was the only way I could do that particular sound.
And sorry about the goofy face. I am not used to singing on camera but I wanted to show that it is really me that sings – allthough in a modulated fashion
“KRAFTWERK new song 2012 Musique Electronique”
Regardless if it is a fake (which I am quite sure it is) it is still a nice electronic synth pop tune and a good reason to invest in Synth-Werk if you have done so already
A brief, stereotypical vocoder demo featuring the amazing Sennheiser VSM 201 Vocoder with an EML POLYBOX. These were both units that were in for repair at The Analog Lab in NYC. The tone generator is routed through the EML where it is divided into user selected pitches/chords. The chords remain static, but the pitch shifts with the change of the frequency of the tone generator.
Sennheiser Vocoder VSM201
made in 1978
this is a luxury 20bands vocoder
of course only the “creme de la creme” used THIS, because it is really not cheap.. Kraftwerk!
The vocoder was first a military device to encode speech signals
Out tomorrow is the debut album by the Kraftwerkian project Metroland. Based in Belgium the duo, Passenger A and Passenger S, the band will see their debut album “Mind the gap” released in 2 different versions, a normal CD format and a double CD box set featuring 11 remixes executed by the likes of Komputer, Celluloide, Franck Kartell, Keen K, Növö, Sophie Watkins, etc.