New Album From Kraftwerk’s Karl Bartos, Off The Record

Former Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos shared this sneak preview of Atomium, from his upcoming album, Off The Record.

Based on the press info for Atomium, Bartos is not straying too far from classic Kraftwerk themes or sounds:

No other edifice in Europe symbolizes the rise and fall of atomic power quite as dramatically as the Atomium. This gigantic model of an iron crystal, erected for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, finds its musical voice on the first single lifted from the new Karl Bartos album.

But what does iron crystal music sound like? The Ex-Kraftwerk member combines variable metrics and intelligent rhythmicity with calculated noise and the elegant weightlessness of his melodies – neoclassicism meets avant-garde electronica.

Here’s the audio preview of Atomium:

Here’s the official blurb on Bartos’ new album:


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.”

Off The Record is scheduled for a March 2013 release. Atomium will be the first singel. Bartos is also planning a 2013 concert tour. See his site for more info.

14 thoughts on “New Album From Kraftwerk’s Karl Bartos, Off The Record

  1. Karl Bartos’s book, I was a Robot, is a very important read and lifts the lid on Kraftwerks ‘founders’ taking the piss out of him and Conny Plank etc.
    It is great to hear this new track, I was a Robot is a great read. Nice to see him putting out a new record.
    He was written out of the credits on Kraftwerk records.

    1. Mono, I think you are confusing Karl with Wolfgang Flur who was the gut that wrote the book (great read, wasn’t it?). If you are interested, Wolfgang put out a CD a while back as part of the band YAMO called Stereomatic which is also a great one. Now that Ralf Hutter is the only member of the band, I think Florian, Karl and Wolfgang should start up their own!

  2. Has Kraftwerk done anything significant since Bartos left?

    Listening to this track, you can hear why. Strong musically, but not so much conceptually.

    1. Yeah. Great description. It’s an interesting example of modern production techniques squeezing the life out of what would have been a much different sounding song 20 years ago.

  3. What I find odd about it is, the melodic part a the top and throughout sounds very Kraftwerk, but post-Bartos KW. So who sounds like who now? I’ll deffo buy the album, but I’m hoping for something more conceptual and less pop than Communication, which was a very good album but lacked the cohesiveness of a KW album.

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