Karl Bartos

Karl Bartos ***


TWELVE years ago, Karl Bartos left one of the most influential groups in popular music. Without Teutonic synthethiser gods Kraftwerk, electronic music, including house and techno, would sound very different. Since his departure, Kraftwerk have managed one disappointing album built around a 20-year-old track, while Bartos has produced several albums of accessible synth pop.

In the flesh, he cuts a more relaxed human figure than the Kraftwerk stage presence of old. His pulsating mix of material from his new album Communication was accompanied by bold shiny visuals, and some subtle reworkings of the more lyrically melodic Kraftwerk classics, including Computer Love, Tour De France and The Model .

Like veteran rock bands asserting their status by the size of their Marshall stack, Bartos draped the stage in as much audio-visual technology as it could handle. This was a simple hypnotic celebration of electro-pop.