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Cabaret Voltaire

Though they're one of the most important groups in the history of industrial and electronic music, Cabaret Voltaire are sometimes forgotten in the style's timeline -- perhaps because they continued recording long after other luminaries (Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, Chrome) called it quits. Also related to the fact is that CV rarely stayed in one place for long, instead moving quickly from free-form experimentalism through arty white-boy funk and on to house music in the late '80s and electronica the following decade. The band, formed by guitarist Richard H. Kirk, bassist Stephen Mallinder, and tape manipulator Chris Watson, were influenced by the Dadaist movement (whence came their name) and as such, came closer to performance art than music during many of their early performances. After several years of recording with no contract, the group signed to the newly formed Rough Trade label in 1978 and began releasing records that alternated punk-influenced chargers with more experimental pieces incorporating tape loops and sampled effects.

Following Watson's departure, the remaining duo inaugurated a new contract with Some Bizzare/Virgin in 1983 by shifting their sound away from raging industro-funk and toward a more danceable form. The singles "Sensoria" and "James Brown" hit the indie charts in 1984, and Cabaret Voltaire moved to EMI/Parlophone in 1986 for The Code. Two years later, the band traveled to Chicago to record Groovy, Laidback & Nasty with Marshall Jefferson, one of the mavericks in the new house sound blowing up in the British charts. After another break of several years, the new-electronica label Instinct released a trio of CV LPs during 1993 and 1994, after which the band's future appeared cloudy. Kirk continued his solo career (recording as Electronic Eye and Sandoz, as well as under his own name), while Mallinder moved to Australia. A handful of compilations surfaced during the early 2000s: the two-volume The Original Sound of Sheffield sets (featuring A-sides, 12" mixes, and album highlights), Conform to Deform '82/'90 (a three-disc box containing B-sides, alternate mixes, and unreleased tracks), and Methodology '74/'78 (three discs of raw archival material). During the late 2000s and early 2010s, Kirk released a handful of live CV recordings and oversaw an extensive line of reissues, including the box set #8385 Collected Works 1983-1985 and the anthology #7885 Electropunk to Technopop, through Mute. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Archive #828285 Live

Disc 1

1. Eddie's Back (Live)

2. Over And Over (Live)

3. This Is Entertainment (Live)

4. You Can See It (Live)

5. Gut Level (Live)

6. Diskono (Live)

7. Yashar (Version) (Live)

8. Walls Of Merseyside (Live)

9. DV Decay 2 (Live)

Disc 2

1. The Shadow (Live)

2. Over And Over (Live)

3. Gut Level (Live)

4. The Bells (Live)

5. Diskono (Live)

6. Walls Of Sheffield (Live)

7. DV Decay 3 (Live)

Disc 3

1. Mao Musak Intro (Live)

2. Crackdown (Live)

3. Sensoria (Live)

4. Animation (Live)

5. Big Funk (Live)

6. Sleepwalking (Live)

7. Ghost Talk (Live)

8. Doin Time (Live)

9. Kino (Live)

10. Do Right (Live)

11. Strange Outro (Live)

x

Track List: Methodology '74/'78: The Attic Tapes

Disc 1

1. Exhaust

2. Synthi Aks Piece One

3. Synthi Aks Piece Two

4. Jet Passing Over

5. Sad Synth

6. Treated Guitar

7. Treated Clarinet

8. Treated Drum Machine

9. Possibility Of A Bum Trip

10. Space Patrol

11. Jack Stereo Unit

12. Magnet

13. Counter Reaction

14. Capsules Version

15. Makes Your Mouth Go Funny

16. Dream Sequence Number Three Short Version

17. Reverse Piece One

18. Stolen From Spectra

19. Shes Black Part One

20. Jive

21. The Single

22. Speed Kills

23. Fascist Police State

Disc 2

1. Synthi Aks Piece Three

2. Data Processing Instructions

3. Fuse Mountain

4. Calling Moscow

5. Dream Sequence Number Two

6. Attic Tapes

7. Treated Speech

8. Dream Sequence Number Three

9. Henderson Reversed Piece Two

10. Bed Time Stories

11. Loves In Vein

12. Do The Mussolini (Headkick) (They Kill Him Dub)

13. Shes Black, Pt. 2

Disc 3

1. Its Not Music

2. Slo Change

3. Original Voice Of America

4. Heaven And Hell

5. Do The Mussolini (Head Kick)

6. Here She Comes Now

7. Capsules

8. Oh Roger

9. Havoc

10. Talkover

11. No Escape

12. Photophobia

13. The Set Up

14. A Minute Is A Life Time

15. Baader Meinhof

16. Nag Nag Nag

17. Its About Now

x

Track List: The Original Sound Of Sheffield '78/'82

1. Do The Mussolini (Headkick)

3. Baader Meinhof

4. Nag Nag Nag

5. Silent Command

6. No Escape

7. This Is Entertainment

8. Obsession

9. Seconds Too Late

10. Split Second Feeling

11. Spread The Virus

12. Yashar

13. Wait & Shuffle

14. Loosen The Clamp

x

Track List: The Original Sound Of Sheffield '83 - '87: Best Of Cabaret Voltaire

1. Just Fascination

2. Crackdown

3. Dream Ticket

4. Sensoria

5. James Brown

6. Kino

7. I Want You

8. Don't Argue

9. Here To Go

10. Thank You America

x

Track List: The Living Legends

1. Do The Mussolini (Headkick)

2. Talk Over

3. Here She Comes Now

4. The Set Up

5. Nag Nag Nag

6. Silent Command

7. Jazz The Glass

8. Walls Of Jerico

9. Seconds Too Late

10. Eddie's Out

11. Burnt To The Ground

12. Extract From: Chance Versus Causality

13. Control Addict

14. Is That Me (Finding Someone At The Door Again)

x

Track List: The Covenant The Sword And The Arm Of The Lord

1. L21st

2. I Want You

3. Hells Home

4. Kickback

5. The Arm Of The Lord

6. Warm

7. Golden Halos

8. Motion Rotation

9. Whip Blow

10. The Web

x

Track List: Micro-Phonies

1. Do Right

2. The Operative

3. Digital Rasta

4. Spies In The Wires

5. Theme From Earthshaker

6. James Brown

7. Slammer

8. Blue Heat

9. Sensoria

10. Sensoria (12" Mix)

x

Track List: The Crackdown

1. 24-24

2. In The Shadows

3. Talking Time

4. Animation

5. Over And Over

6. Just Fascination

7. Why Kill Time (When You Can Kill Yourself)

8. Haiti

9. Crackdown

10. Diskono

12. Badge Of Evil

13. Moscow

x

Track List: Red Mecca

1. A Touch Of Evil

2. Sly Doubt

3. Landslide

4. A Thousand Ways

5. Red Mask

6. Split Second Feeling

7. Black Mask

8. Spread The Virus

9. A Touch Of Evil (Reprise)

x

Track List: 2 X 45

1. Breathe Deep

2. Yashar

3. Protection

4. War Of Nerves (T.E.S.)

5. Wait And Shuffle

6. Get Out Of My Face

x

Track List: Radiation

1. Sensoria

2. Digital Rasta

6. Big Funk

7. The Operative

9. Hey! Hey!

11. Sex Money Freaks

12. I Want You

13. Doom Zoom

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Lea and Perrins in the Purple Crush...Work . . . . D o That Clockwork Trick...that Neil did....feel whats real on the reel to reel? .....hell... . . o h . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
bravo25c
I have to agree, I love CODE!! But even CODE was a new direction for CV. Drinking Gasoline is amazing!!
Report as inappropriate
shild96
The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord is their best.
Report as inappropriate
In Chris Connelly's book, he nicknamed Kirk and Mallinder Party and Grumpy, respectively . . . . I wish they'd kept going in the direction of CODE, instead of slip-sliding over into acid-house/t e c h n o 1 . 0 - t y p e stuff. Although the CV remix of Acid Horse's (them, actually) No Name No Slogan on Wax Trax is bril.
Report as inappropriate
Where's the album CODE? That's their BEST. Several EPs are also missing.
Report as inappropriate
this is the kind of stuff i make.
Report as inappropriate
aquinas4
If you are trying to make a Cab Vol station, try making a Nitzer Ebb station. I did, and I get more Cab than Nitzer Ebb.
Report as inappropriate
This band is classic and was at the forefront of all electronic and industrial music
Report as inappropriate
I know I've heard them weaving their way throughout my life, but I never could identify them . . . like all the millions of songs I knew from teenage years but they never said on the radio who it was. . .
Report as inappropriate
bravo25c
Where is Drinking Gasoline in the write-up? That was one of my first Albums and I have to say a great example of their shift from experimental work to a more electronica/ f u n k sound. Kino is a great track.

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