Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Music - Part 274 - Cabaret Voltaire

Cabaret Voltaire – #7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985) (Mute)
Out Now

Experimental electro legends Cabaret Voltaire release a new compilation.  

As the story goes, if as many people were at the 150 capacity Manchester Free Trade Hall in June 1976 for a certain Sex Pistols gig  as they say they were, there would have been around 4,000 attendees.  Similarly, if all the people that claimed they have always been huge fans of Cabaret Voltaire were, then they would have had a string of number one albums to accompany their arena tours.

The year of Voltaire digital releases continues with an essential retrospective containing tracks from their Rough Trade years of experimental post-punk electro to the Some Bizarre (on Virgin) dance orientated, similarly experimental years up to 1985.

For anyone wanting a quick introduction to the group, this is the album for you.  Opening with their harsh, raw, sometimes difficult to listen electro punk efforts such as Do The Mussolini and the incredible Nag Nag Nag, the then trio broke down and created new boundaries in music as the likes of Human League and Daniel Miller’s The Normal watched in awe and envy.  Combining the punk attitude with electronics was undoubtedly ground-breaking and the steel walls of Sheffield were soon knocked down.

As Kneel To The Boss and Landslide could well have been influences on The The’s classic Soul Mining album, any other track on this collection could have been the catalyst for any other artist since.  Inserting sound bytes before any else had even contemplated the idea, another Voltaire trademark became commonplace in years to follow.

Marking the ‘other’ side to the group following the departure of Chris Watson in the early 80s leaving the duo of Kirk Mallinder and Richard H Kirk (now the sole member) to continue as a more dance/funk/house outfit but still with that anarchic ethos that had been born in the previous decade.

For the first time on cd the 7” versions of some of their later releases are present.  From the throbbing bass of Just Fascination to the unique sound of Crackdown, from the rolling drumbeats of Sensoria and Kino to the amazing I Want You which still sounds as fresh today as when it was recorded.  Ending with the perverted sexual overtones of Warm this is a superb line-up of tracks from one of the most influential groups of the last 40 years who were so ahead of their time it’s almost untrue.


Mute Records
Richard H Kirk on Twitter
Cabaret Voltaire on hiapop Blog
The The on hiapop Blog

Published on Louder Than War 18/08/14 - here

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