Karl Bartos - Off The Record

Useful, thrown-back fun
Karl Bartos - Off The Record

An archive of past futuristideas, kept retro: Kraftwerk’s melody machinist is ready to attack electro frontiers with vocoder headset clamped chinwards. From a stage cordoned by mainframes and scart leads, Bartos commands Mr Roboto-style rock conducting, then the  polishing of arcade chipsets (‘Nachtfahrt’ scrolls as a  high-score screen, ‘The Binary Code’ hitting hyperspace) and European Auld Lang Synes (the Air-brushed ‘International Velvet’). The computerisation has evolved with some humanity, so nothing is sterile: ‘Without A Trace Of Emotion’ is chipper in sweeping across the boards, equalised by compu-tragedy ‘The Tuning Of The World’ and the genuinely weird ‘Vox Humana’. Useful, thrown-back fun, comfortable off the cutting edge.

6/10

Words by MATT OLIVER

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