Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos

Musician and writer Karl Bartos has long been admirer of Weimar-era culture. During his time in Kraftwerk, he helped create the stunning track 'Metropolis', directly inspired by a band viewing of the classic 1927 Fritz Lang film of the same name. The original orchestral music composed for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Giuseppe Becce had long been lost and in 2005, after watching the film, Bartos imagined what it would be like to create an entirely new one in the 21st Century in his home studios in Hamburg. Now with crystal clear images, digitally restored by the Friedrich-Wilhelm -Murnau-Foundation, the film is visually the best quality it has ever been, and now, with Bartos' soundtrack, there is impressive sound to go with the haunting vision. Narrative film music and sound design for Robert Wiene's classic 1920 psychological thriller.

For the task, Bartos ransacked his own library of musical compositions, recreating pieces he had written as a young classical musician in his pre-Kraftwerk days whilst creating new sounds, melodies and textures. The intention was not simply to write a film score per se. This was to be an immersive listening experience with special sound effects to match the action as we enter the film as both spectator and participant. A creaking door, footsteps on gravel, the turning of pages in a ledger, a half-heard fragment of dialogue are seamlessly synchronised to the action on screen. By taking the characteristics of Expressionism in the arts, and transferring them into film making, a disturbing, distorted depiction of reality enwrapped and entrapped the viewer. The subjective replaces the objective. We are sucked into a parallel world lit in menacing chiaroscuro, where dimension, proportion and perspective are all off skew. From the convex polygon-shaped windows of precipitously sharp-inclined buildings to the surreally odd tables and chairs with long spindly legs to be found in preposterously small and oddly shaped rooms, alienating camera angles and impossible vanishing points, the town of Holstenwall in which much of the action takes place, is the world of the imagination, not the empirical world of our own eyes and ears. 'The cinema image must become an engraving,' the film's set designer Hermann Warm said. We can hear melodies that lie within the tradition of the Baroque Age of Bach, the early Romanticism of Mozart, the dissonance of Schoenberg, the unsettling metric play of Stravinsky and the harshly dramatic repetitions of Philip Glass. From outside of the classical tradition there is the folklorist bricolage of the fair- ground barrel organ tempered playfully by some psychedelic backwards musique concrete along with some melodies which would not have been out of place on a Kraftwerk album from the classic era.

All the time the listener is on a journey, sounds move in and out, music weaves and entwines, the soundscape is immersive and intoxicatingly rich. It is music which is, by turns, beautiful, amusing, playful and profoundly dis- quieting and it is perfect fit for the aesthetic of era-jumping in the actual film. Dr. Caligari's action switches from the then present day to the past century and even further back before rebooting back to the imagined present.

'There's something about this film. No matter how often you watch it, it keeps its secrets. Who is mad and who is not always remains a question of interpretation,' says Bartos. The film remains an enigma, but now one with the soundtrack and soundscape it deserves.

Karl Bartos

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Bureau B
Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos
LPx2

£39.99

Black
Released 23/02/2024Catalogue Number

BB400LP

Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos
LPx2

£84.99

With the Caligari movie on DVD and 16 Page Booklet.

Black
Limited to 2000 copies
Released 01/03/2024Catalogue Number

BB400LPBOX

Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos
CD

£16.99

Released 23/02/2024Catalogue Number

BB400

Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos
CD +

£44.99

CD plus Caligari Movie on DVD and 48 Page Booklet

Limited to 2000 copies
Released 01/03/2024Catalogue Number

BB400CDBOX

Karl Bartos

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari

Bureau B
Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos
LPx2

£39.99

Black
Released 23/02/2024Catalogue Number

BB400LP

Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos
LPx2

£84.99

With the Caligari movie on DVD and 16 Page Booklet.

Black
Limited to 2000 copies
Released 01/03/2024Catalogue Number

BB400LPBOX

Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos
CD

£16.99

Released 23/02/2024Catalogue Number

BB400

Album artwork for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari by Karl Bartos
CD +

£44.99

CD plus Caligari Movie on DVD and 48 Page Booklet

Limited to 2000 copies
Released 01/03/2024Catalogue Number

BB400CDBOX

Musician and writer Karl Bartos has long been admirer of Weimar-era culture. During his time in Kraftwerk, he helped create the stunning track 'Metropolis', directly inspired by a band viewing of the classic 1927 Fritz Lang film of the same name. The original orchestral music composed for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari by Giuseppe Becce had long been lost and in 2005, after watching the film, Bartos imagined what it would be like to create an entirely new one in the 21st Century in his home studios in Hamburg. Now with crystal clear images, digitally restored by the Friedrich-Wilhelm -Murnau-Foundation, the film is visually the best quality it has ever been, and now, with Bartos' soundtrack, there is impressive sound to go with the haunting vision. Narrative film music and sound design for Robert Wiene's classic 1920 psychological thriller.

For the task, Bartos ransacked his own library of musical compositions, recreating pieces he had written as a young classical musician in his pre-Kraftwerk days whilst creating new sounds, melodies and textures. The intention was not simply to write a film score per se. This was to be an immersive listening experience with special sound effects to match the action as we enter the film as both spectator and participant. A creaking door, footsteps on gravel, the turning of pages in a ledger, a half-heard fragment of dialogue are seamlessly synchronised to the action on screen. By taking the characteristics of Expressionism in the arts, and transferring them into film making, a disturbing, distorted depiction of reality enwrapped and entrapped the viewer. The subjective replaces the objective. We are sucked into a parallel world lit in menacing chiaroscuro, where dimension, proportion and perspective are all off skew. From the convex polygon-shaped windows of precipitously sharp-inclined buildings to the surreally odd tables and chairs with long spindly legs to be found in preposterously small and oddly shaped rooms, alienating camera angles and impossible vanishing points, the town of Holstenwall in which much of the action takes place, is the world of the imagination, not the empirical world of our own eyes and ears. 'The cinema image must become an engraving,' the film's set designer Hermann Warm said. We can hear melodies that lie within the tradition of the Baroque Age of Bach, the early Romanticism of Mozart, the dissonance of Schoenberg, the unsettling metric play of Stravinsky and the harshly dramatic repetitions of Philip Glass. From outside of the classical tradition there is the folklorist bricolage of the fair- ground barrel organ tempered playfully by some psychedelic backwards musique concrete along with some melodies which would not have been out of place on a Kraftwerk album from the classic era.

All the time the listener is on a journey, sounds move in and out, music weaves and entwines, the soundscape is immersive and intoxicatingly rich. It is music which is, by turns, beautiful, amusing, playful and profoundly dis- quieting and it is perfect fit for the aesthetic of era-jumping in the actual film. Dr. Caligari's action switches from the then present day to the past century and even further back before rebooting back to the imagined present.

'There's something about this film. No matter how often you watch it, it keeps its secrets. Who is mad and who is not always remains a question of interpretation,' says Bartos. The film remains an enigma, but now one with the soundtrack and soundscape it deserves.