Karl Bartos, Photo by Marion von der Mehden, 2003
THE ELECTRICITY CLUB / UKA SHORT CONVERSATION WITH KARL BARTOS – IN BILD UND TON
By Chi Ming Lai / Mark Roland
(...) In 2003, Bartos made a triumphant comeback with his first proper solo album ‘Communication’. This saw a return to his electronic roots with lead track ‘The Camera’ in particular successfully updating the Kling Klang template of ‘The Robots’ for the new Millennium. The album was far more of an artistic success than ‘Tour De France Soundtracks’ which had just been released by his former colleagues after a lengthy absence. Bartos’ own live show was a huge success too, mixing his new material with updated versions of his classic KRAFTWERK compositions in a striking but intimate audio/visual extravaganza. (...)
Although having been comparatively silent for the last few years musically, Bartos has been working as a visiting Professor at the Berlin University of the Arts having founded its Master of Arts course in ‘Sound Studies – Acoustic Communication’. But now comes the release of ‘Off The Record’, the first album from KARL BARTOS in ten years. It sees lost material being reconceived and recontextualised within a 21st Century setting. (...)
Excerpts – Interview by Mark Roland:
Did you have any dilemmas about how many KRAFTWERK songs to include when you first went out with your live show in 2003 in support of the ‘Communication’ album? (...)
Well, since I have co-written many of the hits, I always had too many of them for just one concert. The real problem was to sort out the redundant tracks.
It’s been 10 years since ‘Communication’. During that time, there has been the move to download culture and smart technology. How have these advances shaped ‘Off The Record’, bearing in mind its background?
The change in music culture had no influence in the making of this album. It is true: the music industry has lost its business model but that did not change the power of music. (...)