Want List: Karl Bartos – Atomium

Karl Bartos ©2012 Katja Ruge

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.

Bureau B | GER | 12″ | 2013 | BB080

Karl Bartos: Atomium GER 12″ [2013]

  1. Atomium [Ger. ver.]
  2. 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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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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9 Responses to Want List: Karl Bartos – Atomium

  1. Echorich says:

    WOW! That really was breathtaking!! The combination of edge and analog fidelity was amazing…MORE I SAY…I want much more of that!!

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  2. JT says:

    I visited the atomium when I was in Brussels in twenty-ought-nine. Visitors can still go inside and take escalators through the tubes that connect the different spheres. It’s a miracle of mid-fifties atomic-era design, inside and out.
    As for the tun, Bartos does Kraftwerk better than Kraftwerk does Kraftwerk… but how many times can he make essentially the same record before the formula needs a few surprises thrown into the mix?

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      JT – That link I provided was to a Brussels photography blog with amaaaaaazing photos for the uninitiated. Of which I was one. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but until now, I thought the Atomium was simply a sculpture. It was hard to judge the scale in the F242 video.

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  3. jsd says:

    I have “Communication”, it is quite good. Well worth tracking down. It’s exactly the album you’d hope Kraftwerk would have made in 2003 instead of Tour De France Soundtracks.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      jsd – I have to admit that I was in a CD store [in 2004] perusing the used discs and that is how I found out that Kraftwerk had a new album out! I was speechless at the time. I thought that was so wrong. A Kraftwerk album, should have been a seismic event, but by 2003, that was probably about right. “Hey – a new Kraftwerk album.” [yawns] Glad I bought it used, though. Apart from “Aero Dynamik,” it’s a non-event.

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      • Echorich says:

        Here Here Monk…Aero Dynamik should have been a stand alone single – which could have been written about over and over again and possibly given Kraftwerk Mk. – whatever – an actual spark of creative life.

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  4. Taylor says:

    This page is so stupid and so is the song FYI

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