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​Karl Bartos pens Kraftwerk memoir, The Sound of the Machine

The German musician is opening up about his life in the group from 1975 to 1990

  • Gemma Ross
  • 18 December 2022
​Karl Bartos pens Kraftwerk memoir, The Sound of the Machine

Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos has released a book, The Sound of the Machine, documenting his life as part of the influential electronic group from the ‘70s to the ‘90s.

The German composer, who joined founding group members Ralf Hütter, Wolfgang Flür and Florian Schneider in 1975 and was part of groundbreaking records such as ‘The Man-Machine’ and ‘Computer World’, penned the memoir some three decades after departing from the group.

Released in July, The Sound of the Machine chronicles the most influential era of Kraftwerk across 600 pages. According to Bartos, the memoir highlights the ways in which the group found “artistic expression”.

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“In The Sound of the Machine I try to describe the secrets of our writing sessions, how we played like children and how our mutual search for new artistic expression made us happy,” says the author.

“I reveal why our music – created in the analogue world – has survived its digital substitute. As I see it, in our best moments the compositions are a testament to our search for the poetry concealed in the sound of the machine,” Bartos says.

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Elsewhere in the book, Bartos looks at the influence and changing dynamic of Düsseldorf’s musical atmosphere through the ’70s and ‘80s, and his time in the Kling Klang studios with the band.

Over 30 years since Bartos left the group to pursue a solo career, The Sound of the Machine also looks at his life after Kraftwerk, as well as his post-war childhood, the first bands he joined, and his current “hopes and dears” for today’s musical landscape.

The Sound of the Machine is available now. Grab your copy here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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