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.
Make Noise Phonogene and Echophon manipulating a sample from Kraftwerk’s “Boing Boom Tschak”. Totally insane!
Phonogene output is routed to a doepfer A-119 which extracts the gate signal and then is fed back into the ping input on a 4ms PEG, then those env outs are fed recursively into the phonogene, final out into Echophon then Intellijel Mutamix.
Omnibus Press presents a new and major biography of the first-ever all-electronic pop group, Kraftwerk, one of the most influential bands in popular music history. David Buckley examines the cult enigma that is Kraftwerk! The inner workings of this most secretive of bands are revealed through interviews with friends and close associates. The story of their incredible impact on modern music is traced up to the present day using interviews with a host of musicians, from original electro pioneers such as Gary Numan and the Human League to contemporary acts still in awe of the original Man Machines.
3.5 ‘Tomorrow Belongs To Those Who Can Hear It Coming’
It wasn’t just young would-be musicians who were listening either. The old guard were listening too. In 1975, modern music’s most important icon, David Bowie, was listening hard to Kraftwerk. Receiving an endorsement from Bowie, at the time the most innovative and critically lauded rock star on the planet, was a big deal. It’s hard now to imagine how influential David Bowie was in the seventies and early eighties. Far and away the most sought after interviewee by the UK music press, his every move was scrutinised, his every word picked over by an adoring audience.
Not that 1975 was personally a good year for Bowie. Commercially, he had never been more popular. ‘Fame’, an unlikely collaboration with John Lennon, became his first US number one, and a re-released ‘Space Oddity’ from 1969 would top the UK charts later that autumn. But physically and emotionally, Bowie was a man of shellac, ready to shatter into pieces, addicted to cocaine and obsessed with the occult. However, amongst the nonsequiturs and ridiculous assertions in his interviews, Bowie was, once again, picking up on a massive shift within modern music. He felt that rock, as a statement, was over. His music of the time, dubbed by its creator ‘plastic soul’, was his first attempt to break free from rock cliché. His second attempt, more fully realised, and much more artistically successful, would be just around the corner. ‘Rock ’n’ roll certainly hasn’t fulfilled its original promise,’ he told Anthony O’Grady in August of that year. ‘The original aim of rock ’n’ roll when it first came out was to establish an alternative media speak voice for people who had neither the power nor advantage to infiltrate any other media or carry any weight, and cornily enough, people really needed rock ’n’ roll. And what we said was that we were only using rock ’n’ roll to express our vehement arguments against the conditions we find ourselves in, and we promise that we will do something to change the world from how it was. We will use rock ’n’ roll as a springboard.’ Bowie continues: ‘But it’s just become one more whirling deity, right? Going round that never-decreasing circle. And rock ’n’ roll is dead … It’s a toothless old woman. It’s really embarrassing.’