Tag Archives: Bureau B

Kalte Steroid

Featuring : Die Wilde Jagd

Die Wilde Jagd are too cool to exist. They are too alive (and well dressed) to be Neubauten and too disciplined to be Add (n) to (x). Too organic to be Photek and too robotic to be Deerhunter. We have been listening to their stellar s/t album a lot recently, and wished we could travel with it to the past to play it at 1am at the Do or 13 Monsters. Wah Wah Wallenstein or Jagd auf den Hirsch would have been dancefloor hits there, and Austerlitz would have provided the national anthem for our independence movement.

Yes, we need to talk about Austerlitz, a motorik tune so full of hooks and drops it makes the space-time continuum wobble somewhat whenever it’s played. You know all that distortion in Leia’s holographic message to Obi Wan Kenobi? Some rebels were blasting Austerlitz as they made their last stand against the Imperials. You know Kaneda’s rush towards his date with Tetsuo at Akira’s mausoleum? He was listening to this on the way there, just to get pumped. Can you imagine a football match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and Skynet’s mightiest? This  soundtracked humanity’s last minute comeback to save us from AI’s tyranny and inspire the first planetary conga.   

Just listen to it and see. Because epic… is only a word.

Die Wilde Jagd – Austerlitz

Get the album from Bureau B.

Squishy Feelings for Fallible Humans

Featuring : Karl Bartos

karl-bartos-off-the-record

 

Those of us lucky enough to grab tickets for the Tate Modern marathon are still presumably in a state of painful Kraftwithdrawal (and, if you’re reading this, I hate you. I hate you.), so it’s fortuitous that the new album from former Kraftwerker Karl Bartos is almost here and that we’re allowed to share some of it with you!

Karl Bartos – Atomium

Atomium is the most Kraftwerky song on an album that sounds quite a lot like Kraftwerk. A slightly sentimental Kraftwerk in places, though – one that aren’t above singing about stuff that isn’t electricity pylons or Minitel, but actual fleshy humanoids.

But before you start getting grossed out, check out Atomium – strong as girders, as pure as mathematics, and a Valentine’s ode to an unphotographable piece of Belgian architecture constructed for Expo ’58.

There must be clever parallels that could be drawn between Atomium – an iconic piece of engineering whose structure is an architectural magnification of a single cell of iron crystal – and the parent outfit that spawned Bartos as a musician. A bizarre copyright law prevents any publication or website from publishing pictures of Atomium – even today it is regularly Photoshopped out of Brussells landscape shots.

The tracks on this album, Off The Record, are completed versions of song-sketches Karl originally mapped out on the sly during his tenure in the 20th Century’s greatest pop group (from Radio-Activity to uncredited work on The Mix) – which explains why the chiselled, handsome polygons of Bartos’ Kraftwerk mannequin appear on the cover, projected live from the Uncanny Valley.

On the album track Without A Trace of Emotion, Karl sings – sans-vocoder – of what seems unambiguously his days in Kraftwerk: “I’m on my way. Got the world at my feet. I wish I could remix my life to another beat. Without a trace of emotion. My image turns around. Calling from a distance without a sound.”

And then a second character responds, in that familiar authoritarian robot voice: “Every single day I am here to let you know. Whatever happens to you, I won’t let go, I won’t let go.”

“I’m so glad to hear! That you ‘care’ about your family,” deadpans Karl, in this strange duet with biography. Without a trace of emotion. I see you right in front of me. Dress code: red shirt, black tie. You’re history. You’re history.”

It sounds bitter, but also kind of sad. Squishy feelings for fallible humans.

You can pre-order Off The Record from Bureau B.