Recently, I was taking a hard look at Kraftwerk and the diminished legacy that the last 30 years has left them with. I pointed out in my series of posts that Karl Bartos was far more successful on his own than he had been within the constraints of Kraftwerk for the last nine years of his time in that band. His “Esperanto” album of 1993 was exceptional, but after that, I have to admit that I lost track of his further solo work. I am aware that 2003 brought his first solo album, “Communication,” but to date, it’s sadly not in my Record Cell. Now word comes from the superb Hamburg-based Bureau B label, that they have signed Mr. Bartos and are planning on releasing his new album “Off The Record” in March of next year. But before that, the new single, “Atomium,” will be released on February, 1st of 2013.
Karl Bartos: Atomium GER 12″ 
- Atomium [Ger. ver.]
- Atomium [English ver.]
The album is drawn from Bartos’ musical notebook that he kept during his time in Kraftwerk, with the sketches and ideas recently revisited and fleshed out to new life. The first single is inspired by the amazing Atomium Building in Brussels, Belgium. It was built in the shape of an iron atom for the 1958 Expo and was memorably featured in the Belgian band Front 242’s “Headhunter” video as filmed by Anton Corbjin way back in 1988. If you’re unaware of the building, then I highly recommend clicking the link and learning more as the architecture and design of the Atomium Building is incredible. But enough, design talk. How’s the single?
Gott im himmel…!!!
Excuse me. That got me all… flustered. That is incredibly beautiful and absolutely thrilling! I’d certainly rate that as much more exciting than anything I’ve heard by Kraftwerk in 30 years, with perhaps the exception of their “Radioactivity” rework from “The Mix.” March can’t get here soon enough, as far as I’m concerned! Hats off to Bureau B for the fine work they are doing in preserving and extending the legacy of German music. I’ve discovered wonderful work by them this year and they are high on my radar. This release is number one with a bullet in the Monk’s hit parade right now.
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