Cabaret Voltaire

Cabaret Voltaire

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Cabaret Voltaire were a British music group from Sheffield, England.
Initially composed of Stephen Mallinder, Richard H. Kirk and Chris Watson, the group was named after the Cabaret Voltaire, a nightclub in Zurich, Switzerland that was a centre for the early Dada movement.
Their earliest performances were dada-influenced performance art, but Cabaret Voltaire later developed into one of the most prolific and important groups to blend pop with dance music, techno, dub house and experimental electronic music.
The band formed in Sheffield in 1973 and experimented widely with sound creation and processing. These early experiments are documented on the triple album CD set Methodology (Mute 2002). They eventually turned to live performance. In one incident, Mallinder was hospitalised with a chipped backbone after the band had objects thrown at them. However the arrival of punk rock brought a more accepting audience for their industrial, electronic sound and they were championed by Sheffield punk fanzine Gunrubber edited by Paul Bower of local band 2.3.

In 1978, Cabaret Voltaire signed to Rough Trade Records. With Rough Trade they released several acclaimed musically experimental singles and EPs, including Extended Play, "Nag Nag Nag" and "Three Mantras", and albums such as The Voice of America in 1980, and Red Mecca in 1981.
During this time they toured Europe, Japan and America without major record label support, releasing Hai!, a live album recorded in Japan, in 1982.

In 1983, coinciding with the departure of Watson (who went on to found The Hafler Trio with Andrew M. McKenzie before becoming a BBC sound engineer and then a soloist), Cabaret Voltaire decided consciously to turn in a more commercial direction, with the album The Crackdown on Some Bizzare / Virgin Records. This decision was rewarded with the album reaching number 31 in the UK Albums Chart - over 60 places higher than their previous (and then only) chart placing. In 1984, the singles "Sensoria" and "James Brown" from the album Micro Phonies (also on Virgin) charted on the UK Indie Chart, as well as getting play in the underground dance scene.

In 1987, the band released Code, followed by the house-influenced Groovy, Laidback & Nasty in 1990. A series of completely instrumental works under the Cabaret Voltaire name were released on Instinct Records in 1993 and 1994. The last Cabaret Voltaire release to feature Mallinder singing was on the single, "Colours" in 1990.
Since the mid-late 1980s, Kirk began a solo career under several names, including Electronic Eye and Sandoz, while Mallinder has relocated to Perth, Australia and records with a collaborator under the name Sassi & Loco and, more recently, in another collaborative effort the Kuling-Bros. Mallinder also helps run his own Offworld Sounds label and contributed to synthesizer and programming on Shaun Ryder's solo album Amateur Night at the Big Top.

In 1996, Mallinder reported to Inpress magazine's Andrez Bergen that "I do think the manipulation of sound in our early days - the physical act of cutting up tapes, creating tape loops and all that - has a strong reference to Burroughs and Gysin; in terms of the Dada thing, there's a similarity between the Dadaists' reaction to the bourgeoisie and the war and our own position - we felt alienated from popular culture ourselves. I think those kinds of attitudes become embedded within you, but I'm not sure how it relates now..."
Hopes of a Cabaret Voltaire reunion were raised when Kirk dropped hints in the late 1990s, the most significant being in the notes of a reissue of Radiation, but this never happened. In a special 'Depeche Mode/History of Electro-pop' edition of Q magazine, Kirk suggested he is still considering resurrecting the Cabaret name, but this time he plans to "Get some young people involved".

In 2014, Richard H. Kirk resurrected the Cabaret Voltaire moniker for a solo performance at the Atonal Festival in Berlin, playing brand-new material only. The overwhelming success of that show led to a string of new live apparations around Europe in 2015 and a return on full activity of Cabaret Voltaire in the solo persona of Richard H. Kirk.
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Cabaret Voltaire Discography

Albums

none Cabaret Voltaire Beat World - Cabvolt(Cass) Cabvolt Publications Ltd. none UK 1978 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Mix-Up (Album) Rough Trade France 1979 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire The Voice Of America (Album) Rough Trade New Zealand 1980 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Live At The Y.M.C.A. 27.10.79 (Album) Rough Trade Italy 1980 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire 1974 - 1976 (Album) Industrial Records UK 1980 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Live At The Lyceum (Album) Rough Trade, Rough Tapes UK 1981 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Red Mecca (Album) Rough Trade US 1981 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire 2X45 (Album) Rough Trade UK 1982 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Hai! (Album) Rough Trade Japan 1982 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Johnny Yesno (The Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture) (Album) Doublevision Germany 1983 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire The Crackdown (Album, EP) Virgin, Some Bizzare Japan 1983 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Micro-Phonies (Album) Virgin, Some Bizzare Italy 1984 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire The Covenant, The Sword And The Arm Of The Lord (Album) Virgin, Some Bizzare New Zealand 1985 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Drinking Gasoline Virgin, Some Bizzare Canada 1985 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Code (Album) Parlophone, Parlophone New Zealand 1987 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Groovy, Laidback And Nasty (Album) Parlophone, Parlophone UK 1990 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Body And Soul (Album) Les Disques Du Crépuscule UK 1991 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Percussion Force (MiniAlbum) Les Disques Du Crépuscule Belgium 1991 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Plasticity (Album) Plastex Belgium 1992 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Technology: Western Re-Works 1992 (Album) Virgin, Virgin Europe 1992 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire International Language (Album) Plastex US 1993 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire The Conversation (Album) Apollo Belgium 1994 Sell This Version
Cabaret Voltaire Live At The Hacienda. '83 / '86; 11.08.83 / 19.02.86. (Album) Cherry Red Europe 2002 Sell This Version
Kora, Cabaret Voltaire Kora, Cabaret Voltaire - Kora! Kora! Kora! (The Cabaret Voltaire Versions) (Album) Shiva Records UK 2009 Sell This Version
none Cabaret Voltaire Archive (Live At The Town & Country Club, London 12th February 1986)(11xFile, AAC) Intone none UK 2009

Reviews Show All 15 Reviews

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WALTHAMSTOW007

WALTHAMSTOW007

June 1, 2016
How do you sum up Cabaret Voltaire? Well, there's something for everyone..... Some like the early, some like the middle and some like the latter phase of this genius. Me, I love it all, I never tire of it, I'm always digging and delving, back and forth and it doesn't matter what mood I'm in, I'll always find something that'll put a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. A brilliant, insurmountable body of work :-)
nasobem69

nasobem69

April 6, 2016
Cabaret Voltaire - Peel Session 1984
The complete session recorded by Cabaret Voltaire on 14 October 1984 for the John Peel show on BBC Radio 1 and broadcast on the 22nd of that month.
1. Sleep Walking (0:07)
2. Big Funk (6:01)
3. The Operative (11:58)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfOVJIU0YHA
Not yet published!?
moysmat

moysmat

August 13, 2015
having been a massive fan of the cabs from a very early date i have to agree with some and not agree with others from hearing headkick in a club called eric in liverpool in 1978 i was hooked the early stuff was raw and very dark but with a crazy uplifting beat i agree with richard h kirk when he says red mecca was the album that best described the time but i also think voice of america as stunning in its concept. then came for me the two massive highlights of the early cabs yashar and three mantras both records were 15 years ahead of their time and nobody has or can better them as for the later stuff i think the last one i can say caught me was i want you and sensoria due to the fantastic beats .
going back to the early days seeing the cabs a few times i have to admit some of the gigs were helped with a chemical inducement lol
i saw them at the town and country club in the late 70s and retford porterhouse in the early 80s both gigs left me wanting more .
cabaret voltaire have lifted british music to heights it was struggling with without realising they did it .
if it wasnt for the cabs british dance music would not be what it is sampling cut ups etc .
so when people like the press start firing what did the achieve at you tell them everything that is good about music can be foumnd in a cabs record collection
Vart

Vart

April 26, 2014
edited 10 months ago
Love the Cab's
fedge

fedge

January 8, 2014
edited over 2 years ago
Even though the band approved, I'm not a fan of the album cover redesigns in the box set. Should have gone with the originals, as shown in the nice booklet.
islandmediacds

islandmediacds

June 7, 2013
Cabaret Voltaire treated harshly by its own country's music press at the time. However with each record, each was different from the other. I would put them along with New Order in that they were releasing music that was stark, brilliant produced. I love the mid 80s period, but they were a band that could not stand still. Some bands carry on to long(u2), however the cabs left a legacy of elecronica that will never be surpassed
inoxchrome2002

inoxchrome2002

December 16, 2012
edited over 3 years ago
No, no, no!
I love early Cabs music... experimental... near, but better then Throbbing Gristle, ClockDVA, TestDept... and so on.
But the latter records, such as Groovy, Laidback and Nasty, and Body and Soul. Please avoid this melting techno phase.
Richard_23

Richard_23

August 27, 2012
I owe Sheffield an incalculable debt of gratitude for nurturing both Cabaret Voltaire and Hula, among countless other things. Here's to Drinking Gasoline, Poison and other feats of sonic brilliance captured in wax. Where do we get such men?
djpepsi

djpepsi

March 7, 2006
edited over 10 years ago
I can't believe these guys haven't received some honorary award or recognition for them basically starting the whole Sheffield experimental/techno scene. With their 'Western Works' studio being used by just about everyone who was anyone in Sheffiled during the early Acid/Rave years and beyond. And, if that's not enough, they basically invented the art of 'sampling', using sources for music other than conventional instruments/synths. Legends in their lifetimes.
Yage_2097

Yage_2097

May 1, 2004
edited over 5 years ago
One of the best industrial Groups. Very influential on techno groups (f.e.Underworld), industrial-dance groups (f.e. Skinny Puppy) and even experimental-post-punk-groups (f.e. Durutti Column).

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