Karl Bartos Off The Record Album review
How inspiring and spiritually uplifting it is when an album comes along that you know is much needed in a society that is suffering , especially when it has been created by someone who was a member of a musical group that influenced many and were and are adored by many , that group being the unique Kraftwerk.
Karl Bartos parted ways with Kraftwerk in 1990 to teach and to become an independant producer and writer working with cherished friends and musicians Johnny Marr from The Smiths Bernard Sumner from New Order and Andy McCluskey from OMD. His new album released in March of this year 'Off The Record' is born out of a kind of audio diary Karl collected during Kraftwerks heyday , a set of musical resources of the sounds and methods used. Out of the diary has come something exciting thought provoking well thought out and put together.
'International Velvet' is very serene and romantic, Inspired by model muse and artist Isabelle Dufresne who was part of the Andy Warhol circle in the 1960s , Karl described her as an honest to god beauty, a real woman. The emotion in this track expresses admiration for beauty and how you feel when viewing it.
'Without a trace of emotion' touches on the 'Showroom Dummies' image from his time with Kraftwerk that Karl finds hard to shake off. Shaking off the red shirt and black tie non emotion image would be like Anthony Perkins trying to shake off the role of Norman Bates from the movie Psycho. He has admitted it does sometimes annoy him. 'The Binary Code' an exhilarating one minute forty one second piece of instrumental, think of the noises a fruit machine makes when you win the jackpot. A rush of fun and colour.
Last but so not least, 'Vox Humana' a slightly macabre mix of voices singing and speaking in different languages with a Cha Cha type rhythm. A selection of sounds from roughly two decades , a celebration of voices from different parts of the world. It has that mark of strange and uncomfortable that Kraftwerk did so well.
One can only imagine that alot of hard work sorting and contemplating went into this album, sorting tapes data old instruments etc from the mid seventies spanning over roughly fifteen to twenty years and it can't be stated enough that it was a very brave thing to make asking for much motivation.
A gem to come out of March 2013.
4-Without a trace of emotion
5-The Binary code
6-Musica ex machina
7-The tuning of the world