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Cabaret Voltaire

Alias:
Gender: Male
Country: United Kingdom
Description:
One of the most prominent and seminal industrial avant-garde rock bands, started in 1973 in Sheffield, England by a grup of friends: Chris WATSON, Stephen MALLINDER and Richard H. KIRK. The name was deliberately borrowed from an early 20th c. association of Dada artists, who thro- ugh irony and sarcasm expressed their negative attitude towards the WW1, raging at the time in Europe, and showed their contempt for the existing conventions and norms in art. This group followed a similar parth, the difference being that for the purpose of debunking the existing values in everyday life and art they employed radical impact techniques, namely shock tactics. Their first works were published on a compilation cassette 1974-1976, released in 1980 on the INDUSTRIAL RECORDS label (and re-released on CD in the early 1990s by MUTE RECORDS), and also on the Methodology ‘74-’78. Attic Tapes double CD in 2003. The characteristics of their early works was their uncomplicated arrangement, relying on a plain rhythm produced with a drum machine or the electronically processed sledgehammer sound, ascetic vocals and sonic collages based on anti-musical manipulation of noise material. Their greatest artistic achievement is Mix-Up (released 1979), a collection of both studio and live tracks, original compositions drawing on everything from the tran- cey works of krautrock groups, punk rock primitivism and the bruit sound concepts of contemporary avantgarde music. The following releases developed the ideas of their debut album but lacked the remarkable atmosphere of existential depression, chaos and desperate resistance against absurd dehumanisation of the modern world. In the early 1980s, the group gained considerable notoriety for their interesting live shows, whose primitive, provocatively distorted sound aspect was complemen- ted with shocking imagery, documentaries (e.g. Adolf HITLER’s speeches, J.F.K’s assasination, agressive police interventions) and excerpts from por- nographic films. After Chris WATSON left the group in 1981, MALLINDER and KIRK turned to more accessible music. By polishing the sound and adding more diverse rhythms, they sought to adapt it to commercial music requ- irements. The band’s music has been featured in a number of intriguing films, e.g. John YesNo (Peter CARE, 1981), a story of dark escape into the world of narcotic visions, and Salvation! Have You Said Your Prayers Today? (Beth B., 1987), a documentary on the hypocrisy of American TV evangelists. Discography (selected releases): Mix Up (Mute Records 1979) CD Live At The Y.M.C.A. 27.10.1979 (Mute Records 1980) CD 1974 1976 (Mute Records 1980) CD Three Mantras (Mute Records 1980) CD The Voice Of America (Mute Records 1980) CD Live At The Lyceum (Mute Records 1981) CD Red Mecca (Mute Records 1981) CD The Pressure Company- Live In Sheffield 19 Jan 82 (Mute Records 1982) CD 2 x 45 (Mute Records 1982) CD Hai (Mute Records 1982) CD The Crackdown (Doublevision 1983) CD Johnny YesNo: The Original Soundtrack From The Motion Picture (Mute Records 1983) CD Micro Phonies (Some Bizarre / Virgin 1984) CD Drinking Gasoline (Some Bizarre / Virgin 1985) CD Code (EMI / Parlophone 1987) CD Here To Go (EMI / Parlophone 1987) CD 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 Gun-rubber 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. "
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