Karl Bartos, Photo by Gaby Gerster, 2000
FINANCIAL TIMES / UKREVIEW: OFF THE RECORD
By Ludovic Hunter-Tilney
The former Kraftwerk member has delved into the past to make Off the Record, basing it on old song ideas scribbled in notebooks or recorded in fragments on cassettes. The result, unsurprisingly, sound very Kraftwerk-y: the classically trained Karl Bartos joined the German techno-pop leaders in 1975 and didn't leave until 1990.
"Atomium" is a kinetic, semi-sinister tributr to the Atom Age, while on "Nachtfahrt" Bartos sounds like one of Kraftwerk's New Romantic disciples. Vintage Krautrock themes – cosmic synth, motorik beats, robotic effects – are deployed expertly; Bartos's old band, without a new song to their name in 10 years, will no doubt fail to pay attention.