other titles...

  1. Prologue
  2. Scary Memories
  3. Atonal Floating
  4. Full Of Life
  5. In The Town Hall
  6. At The Funfair
  7. A Mysterious Crime
  8. At The Funfair 2
  9. The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari
  10. Jane's Theme
  11. March Grotesque 2
  12. Jane's Theme 2
  13. Shadows
  14. Tragic Message
  15. Suspicion
  16. Tragic Message 2
  17. The Plan
  18. A Dark Figure
  19. Caligari's Theme
  20. Arrest Of The Suspect
  21. Caligari's Theme 2
  22. Worried Jane
  23. Interrogation
  24. Jane's Fear
  25. Francis's Observation
  26. Cesare's Attack And Escape
  27. Safe And Sound
  28. Francis At A Loss
  29. Caligari's Deception
  30. Lunatic Asylum
  31. In Search Of The Truth
  32. Out In The Field
  33. The Director Rants And Rages
  34. Scary Memories 2
  35. Who's Mad Here?
  36. Francis Rants And Rages
  37. Epilogue

karl bartos


bureau b
  • 2lp

    Released: 23rd Feb 2024

  • CD

    Released: 23rd Feb 2024

  • limited 2lp + dvd + 16pp booklet boxset (2000 only)

    Released: 1st Mar 2024

  • limited cd + dvd + 48pp booklet boxset (2000 only)

    Released: 1st Mar 2024


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's impressive sound to go with the haunting vision.

This is Bartos' 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 fairground 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 disquieting 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.