Karl Bartos knew his place and so did everyone else it seemed. Second from the left in the most influential band in the world, Kraftwerk. And there he remained, from 1975 till 1990, co-writing some of their iconic hits – The Model, Computer Love. You might have thought that would set him up for a stellar solo career, but his debut album Communication, described by Bartos as being “about the way images determine our view of the world and how electronic media is going to change the content of our society”, was largely ignored on its release in 2003, bought only by the likes of, well, me.
Thankfully, its been remastered and is being re-released at the end of March. He’s just released a new remix of ‘I’m the Message’ by fellow boundary pusher/electronic music pioneer Matthew Herbert.
Full of waspish electronics and proto-acid/16-bit like beats and wonky chord progressions, he takes a healthy nod back at his former band for inspiration, with its robotic, otherworldly vocals and its twisted, repetitive nature. Don’t miss it all this time round.