Album review: Karl Bartos, Off the Record (Bureau B)


Partly built from fragments of an “acoustic diary” jotted down during Karl Bartos's Kraftwerk years, Off the Record contains few surprises, with several tracks pleasantly echoing his time as co-composer of some of the group's most glorious pieces.

The alienation anthem “Without a Trace of Emotion” stalks like “The Model”, and the electronic tonalities of tracks like “Nachtfahrt” and “International Velvet” have the sublime texture of classic Kraftwerk, while elsewhere the lyrical themes and iconography of “Atomium” and “Musica Ex Machina” share the essential characteristics of technological celebration and European poise. Best of all is “The Tuning of the World”, a humanist hymn to the music of the spheres.

Download: The Tuning of the World; International Velvet; Without a Trace of Emotion