THE ALBUM "OFF THE RECORD"
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".
SECOND SINGLE "WITHOUT A TRACE OF EMOTION"
What must it be like for an artist to live with the image of being a legend? Surely not the worst thing that can happen. But is it always a comfortable experience? This single, lifted from his new album "Off The Record" sees Karl Bartos reflect upon the creative period as a member of the legendary group Kraftwerk for the first time. He meets the showroom dummy Herr Karl, his alter ego, and they strike up a conversation. Bartos reveals a sharp sense of humour and self-irony through the film which accompanies the single, referencing every conceivable cliché of pop stardom: dress code, interviews, champagne, mirror image, persecution complex. Yet Herr Karl, as one might suspect, remains unwaveringly cool, "without a trace of emotion".
Wow. :) I did know already that Mr. Bartos wrote some songs for the band "Mobile Homes" from Sweden, and his solo album "Electric Music" is in a very similar style actually, although it's "guitar rock"-sounds are produced completely synthetic, but this is a new sight:
Seeing him behind a guitar instead of a keyboard is new. :D
"The AudioVision team is happy to introduce our new agent Jean-Marc Lederman. To electronic music fans he is a household name for long: Jean-Marc worked for five years as a office manager of Belgium's Front 242 and as a musican for Fad Gadget, Gene Loves Jezebel and The Weathermen. Nowadays he's pretty busy producing with La Femme Verte and Ghost&Writer and launching a new online map of music.
As of now Jean-Marc will represent Karl Bartos in Benelux, France, Switzerland and Canada. See contact for details."
Nice! :) I think that's pretty cool news - a collaboration that everyone could profit of, Karl & JeanMarc as well as the future audiences. And it comes at a good time too, because just a while ago Herr Bartos announced that he right now is working on new music and plans to present it next year!
I'm certainly looking forward to new music from one of my favourite artists - and with JeanMarc he gets a representative who sure has been around the block a few times himself and who knows his business.
Just recently he has released a quite awesome album featuring coverversions of old classic tunes recorded with a whole bunch of talented artists - check it out:
I think it's only fair to begin my little series about music and musicians who influenced me on my own journey with one of the people who got me started to think about music and it's creation in the first place. For me Karl Bartos is one of the Big Ones, and I believe it's safe to say that he is amongst THE most important influences for my own music.