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Off The Record - Karl Bartos

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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. 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.

In 2013 Karl Bartos released a new album. 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.

Track Listings:
    Atomium 03:16
    Nachtfahrt 03:30
    International Velvet 04:37
    Without A Trace Of Emotion 03:28
    The Binary Code 01:41
    Musica Ex Machina 05:15
    The Tuning Of The World 03:33
    Instant Bayreuth 03:36
    Vox Humana 02:56
    Rhythmus 04:16
    Silence 00:06
    Hausmusik 03:29
Total Time: 43:43
Artist Name(s):
Karl Bartos
Release Year: 2013
Album Type:
Compact Disc, Digital / Download, LP 33 1/3
Label / Publishing
Label Name:
Bureau B
Catalog Number(s):
Hamburg, Germany
Editions / Reissues
  1. BB079, CD 974282 Germany 2013
  2. BB079D Germany 2013
  3. BB079, CD 974282 Germany 2013
  4. BB079, AMIP-0029 Japan 2013
  5. BB079 Germany 2013
  6. BB079, CD 974282 Russia 2013
  7. BB079, LP 974281, CD 974282 Germany 2013
  8. BB079 Europe 2013
  9. BB079, CD 974282 Germany 2014
  10. BB079 Germany 2014
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