Hardly any other name in pop music is as synonymous with electronic sound as that of Karl Bartos. Originally a classically trained percussionist and keyboarder, he later became a composing member of the legendary German group Kraftwerk. He took part in creating some of modern music’s most influential classics like: “Radio-Activity”, “Trans Europe Express”, “The Man Machine”, “Computer World”, “Tour de France”, “Techno Pop” and “The Mix”; thus, altering our perception of sound.
By using film and video, even before the arrival of MTV and it’s subsequent transformation of the music business, Kraftwerk had a great influence on forming the language of contemporary art, especially media art. Bartos’ contribution to the music of the elctronic pioneers is substantial, and he has played a significant role in the group’s success. His consistent exploration of electronic sound has, without doubt, had a major impact on the way modern music has evolved, and has distinguished him as a cultural maverick.
After having left the band, Bartos’ activities as an author and producer lead to globally successful co-operations with Electronic (Bernard Sumner / Johnny Marr), OMD (Andy McCluskey), Information Society (USA), The Mobile Homes (Sweden), and Anthony Rother (Germany), as well as making records for his own project entitled: Electric Music. “Communication”, the first album under his own name, was launched in 2003 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)/London, and has been successful in twenty different regions, spanning the entire world.
In 2004 he co-founded the master program “Sound Studies – Acoustic Communication” at the Berlin University of the Arts where he was a visiting professor teaching Auditory Media Design until 2009. Bartos has accepted many invitations and has lectured on topics as diverse as “The Interpositions of Media”, “Sound Design”, “Musica ex Machina”, in cities such as Rome, Amsterdam, Caracas, London, Frankfurt, Oslo, St. Petersburg and Moscow.
“Camera Obscura”, the first single on Karl Bartos’ label AudioVision, was released in 2005. In 2006, he completed the soundtrack to the film “Moebius Redux – A Life in Pictures” – presenting the renowned French comic illustrator Jean “Moebius” Giraud. The film was released on January 30th, 2007 in Berlin. Together with other illustrious names, including Lalo Schifrin, Michael Stipe, Bjork, Malcolm McLaren, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Johnny Marr, Courtney Love, Yoko Ono, Kanye West, and Grace Jones, Karl Bartos was invited in 2007 to collaborate on an issue of the prestigious art & fashion publication Visionaire, which is dedicated to “sound”. Bartos called his composition “The Binary Code”.
In March 2013 Bartos released his new album which has been well acclaimed internationally. For Off the Record, he 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. During his entire career Karl Bartos has played international concerts and tours including Europe, Scandinavia, UK, Russia, USA, South America, and Asia.
For Bartos, music alone has never been enough! Fascinated by the interplay of image and sound Bartos also works with the medium of film – the latest example of which will be seen live in 2013. Forget about technical nostalgia in 3-D; instead tune into Live Cinema: 90 minutes of music and film – rhythmical, modern, intelligent.
Presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.
Tuesday, 24 November 2015 | 20:00 CET
Berghain | Am Wriezener Bahnhof | 10243 Berlin/Friedrichshain