tempobet yeni adresi
like this album classics review

01/08/2015 : KARL BARTOS - Off The Record

KARL BARTOS

Off The Record

MusicAlbum Classics
Synth Pop / Electro Pop

[80/100]   

Bureau B
01/08/2015, Paul PLEDGER

With all the hoo-hah recently generated by Kraftwerk's 8 shows at London's Tate Modern Turbine Hall, it may not come as much surprise to learn of a new album by one of the band's key ex-members. But before you cynically accuse Karl Bartos of cashing-in, Off The Record has been in the pipeline for a few decades. And doesn't the man who stamped his name on some of the most important albums in musical history deserve to benefit from the media down-draught surrounding Ralf Hutter's men and machines?

During breaks in Kraftwerk's recording and touring schedules during the '80s and beyond, Bartos busied himself with extra-curricular songwriting and an 'acoustic diary', hence this album's title. Recreated from early demos and archives, Off The Record is a rather accomplished collusion of dainty synth-hooks, Euro-beats, vocodered utterances and minimalist retro lyrics that recall some of his work with Electronic and his own earlier solo project, Elektric Music. Clearly, the company he kept during those formative solo years has rubbed off on him - Opening track Atomium, a supercharged art-deco homage to the iconic Brussels exhibition centre and monolith, isn't so far removed from Kraftwerk's Radioactivity, while Nachtfahrt just begs for OMD's Andy McCluskey to reaffirm his vocal services with Bartos, as he did on Esperanto some twenty years ago. Most poignantly, you can also hear Bartos' trademark Kraftwerk nuances.

Lyrically and vocally, most tracks possess a homogenized machine-like countenance that thrills more than irritates, adding another dimension to the mix. Unlike much of the Teutonic pioneers' landmark efforts, there's a distinctly emotional and welcoming human atmosphere throughout Off The Record, even if some of it errs on cheesiness - The Tuning Of The World sounds like a Pet Shop Boys outtake and Instant Bayreuth wouldn't sound out of place in a budget seventies sci-fi TV series (it's a bit Blake's Seven).

But most of this engaging LP is worthy of repeated listens - International Velvet is indeed a very pretty track (like Air and OMD on a picnic) and Rhythmus explores the tough electro-patter of Computer World and Numbers with solemn pathos, rather than parody. The final track is perhaps the most playful - Hausmusik reminds me of an old Martin Rev tune (Mari) and perhaps something Paul Haig might cook up for his Cinematique series. And for all Electronic fans out there, Bartos has even had time to unearth a pin-sharp rare track (Musica Ex Machina) co-written with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr, possibly around the time he contributed to the band's Raise The Pressure album in the '90s. It's rather good.

This review also appeared also on Flipside Reviews.

Paul PLEDGER
01/08/2015


Music reviews

25
11
DEZ MONA
LOOSE ENDS
02
11
STAATSEINDE
Fehlerlinie
05
10
A SLICE OF LIFE
Tabula Rasa
28
09
THIS VALE OF TEARS
This Vale Of Tears
24
09
KMFDM
Hyena
23
09
DEMI LOVATO
HOLY FVCK

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

NEWS

28
11
Today it's exactly 42 years since Siouxsie and the Banshees, released their Christmas single 'Israel'!
27
11
41 years of Don't You Want Me by The Human League
27
11
Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret | Untainted With Time - Released 41 years ago!
26
11
40 years of Melting with Siouxsie and the Banshees!
26
11
31 years ‘Fear (of the Unknown)’... by Siouxsie and the Banshees!
25
11
Nocturnal Rapture | Nocturne Is 39 Years Old Today

Concert reviews

02
11
AKALOTZ - DREADFOOL - DELERITAS - WULF7
EBM NIGHT IN LIEGE...
05
07
EINSTURZENDE NEUBAUTEN
40 Years Einsturzende Neubauten at Ancienne Belgique - Brussels - B (20+21.06.2022)
14
06
WULF7 + THE JUGGERNAUTS
11/06/2022 - LIVE AT THE BAROCK - BRUGGE
14
06
'N TALES, INTERZONE, GROUND NERO
At B52 Club Eeernegem
24
05
STAATSEINDE
Staatseinde live @Kinky Star - 14 mei 2022
13
05
WUK
A try-out that became a book...

GET A COPY OF OUR MAGAZINE
SEND TO YOUR HOME

INTERVIEWS

29
10
PSY'AVIAH
Wanting to have everything under control is problematic, as is wanting to have nothing under control.
29
09
KEVORKIAN DEATH CYCLE
An interview with Kevorkian Death Cycle
28
09
SHE 1 - HIM 2
Interview with electronic duo, She 1 - Him 2
14
09
LIA HIDE
Lia Hide & The Plato-Inspired New Album - An Interview
08
09
JOSIE PACE
Interview with Josie Pace

PHOTOS

25
11
QNTAL
Christuskirche Bochum
24
11
THE CURE
Sportpaleis Antwerpen
18
11
THE JUGGERNAUTS
Porta Nigra Autumn Passage
18
11
HEILUNG
Ruhrcongress Bochum
18
11
EIVOR
Ruhrcongress Bochum
18
11
LILI REFRAIN
Ruhrcongress Bochum
15
11
VERSENGOLD
Ruhrcongress Bochum

ADVERTISE
IN PEEK-A-BOO

VIDEO CLIPS

27
11
WHISPERING SONS
The most beautiful Rock Rally-moment ever....
26
11
SUPER DRAGON PUNCH!!
Sense
25
11
FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY
Armored Core
24
11
DARK POEM
Too Dark To See
23
11
REVOLTING COCKS (THE)
(Let's Get) Physical
22
11
DOUBLE ECHO
Ancient Youth
21
11
NABTA
Drop The Mask