Cabaret Voltaire (band)

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Cabaret Voltaire
Cabaret voltaire.jpg
Richard H. Kirk, Stephen Mallinder, Chris Watson
Background information
Origin Sheffield, England
Genres
Years active1973–1994; 2014–present
Labels
Associated acts
Members Richard H. Kirk
Past members

Cabaret Voltaire are an English music group formed in Sheffield in 1973 and initially composed of Stephen Mallinder, Richard H. Kirk, and Chris Watson. [1] The group was named after the Cabaret Voltaire, the Zürich nightclub that served as a centre for the early Dada movement.

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Music form of art using sound

Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.

Musical ensemble group of people who perform instrumental and/or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name

A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.

Contents

The early work of Cabaret Voltaire consisted primarily of experimentation with DIY electronics and tape machines, as well as Dada-influenced performance art, helping to pioneer industrial music in the mid-1970s. Finding an audience during the post-punk era, they integrated their experimental sensibilities with dance and pop styles. [2] [3] They are often characterized as among the most innovative and influential electronic groups of their era. [3]

DIY ethic

DIY ethic refers to the ethic of self-sufficiency through completing tasks without the aid of a paid expert. Explicitly meaning, "do it yourself", the DIY ethic promotes the idea that anyone is capable of performing a variety of tasks rather than relying on paid specialists.

Performance art artistic performance presented to an audience

Performance art is a performance presented to an audience within a fine art context, traditionally interdisciplinary. Performance may be either scripted or unscripted, random or carefully orchestrated, spontaneous or otherwise carefully planned with or without audience participation. The performance can be live or via media; the performer can be present or absent. It can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer's body, or presence in a medium, and a relationship between performer and audience. Performance art can happen anywhere, in any type of venue or setting and for any length of time. The actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time constitute the work.

Industrial music is a genre of experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music" that was "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments and punk provocation". The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by members of Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. While the genre name originated with Throbbing Gristle's emergence in the United Kingdom, concentrations of artists and labels vital to the genre also emerged in Chicago.

History

The band formed in Sheffield in 1973 and experimented widely with sound creation and processing. Some of these early experiments were first documented on the Industrial Records cassette 1974-1976 (1980), then later on the triple album CD set Methodology '74/'78: The Attic Tapes (Mute 2002). The band eventually turned to live performance, often sharing the bill with Joy Division. [4] 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. [5]

Sheffield City and Metropolitan borough in England

Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 577,800 (mid-2017 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third-largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000.

Industrial Records is a record label established in 1976 by industrial music group and performance artists Throbbing Gristle. The group created the label primarily for self-releases but also signed several other groups and artists. The label gave a name to the industrial music genre.

Compact disc Optical disc for storage and playback of digital audio

Compact disc (CD) is a digital optical disc data storage format that was co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was originally developed to store and play only sound recordings (CD-DA) but was later adapted for storage of data (CD-ROM). Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once audio and data storage (CD-R), rewritable media (CD-RW), Video Compact Disc (VCD), Super Video Compact Disc (SVCD), Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, and Enhanced Music CD. The first commercially available audio CD player, the Sony CDP-101, was released October 1982 in Japan.

In 1978, Cabaret Voltaire signed to Rough Trade Records. With Rough Trade they released several acclaimed musically experimental singles and EPs, including Extended Play and "Nag Nag Nag", and albums such as "Three Mantras" and The Voice of America in 1980, and Red Mecca in 1981. The 27 June 1978 edition of NME had a review by Andy Gill who said "I firmly believe Cabaret Voltaire will turn out to be one of the most important new bands to achieve wider recognition this year. Wait and see." [6] And, certainly, years later they were seen as one of the bands that instigated the electronic music scene.

Rough Trade Records British record label

Rough Trade Records is an independent record label based in London, England. It was formed in 1978 by Geoff Travis who had opened a record store off Ladbroke Grove. Having successfully promoted and sold records by punk rock and early post-punk and indie pop bands such as the Smiths and Desperate Bicycles, Travis began to manage acts and distribute bands such as Scritti Politti and began the label, which was informed by left-wing politics and structured as a co-operative. Soon after, Rough Trade also set up a distribution arm that serviced independent retail outlets across Britain, a network that became known as the Cartel.

Single (music) type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

Watson left the band in 1981 to work for Tyne Tees Television and went on to found The Hafler Trio with Andrew M. McKenzie before becoming a BBC sound engineer and then a soloist. On 25 June 1981, John Peel broadcast a session on the BBC, recorded previously by the band, [7] which included four songs: Black Mask, Greensborough, Walls of Jerico and Jazz the Glass. [8]

The Hafler Trio is a conceptual and sound art collaborative between Andrew M. McKenzie, the only permanent member, and guest musicians. The project has seen the release of numerous albums and CDs in experimental musical styles ranging from electronic, cut-up, ambient, environmental soundscape, musique concrète, electro-acoustic, and audio-montage as cinema for the ears from 1982 to present, each of which use graphic design and text for contextual juxtaposition with the recordings, as well as having a diverse but concrete philosophical and sometimes quasi-religious framework to place them in.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Solo (music) musical piece or part of musical piece performed by a single musician

In music, a solo is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung featuring a single performer, who may be performing completely alone or supported by an accompanying instrument such as a piano or organ, a continuo group, or the rest of a choir, orchestra, band, or other ensemble. Performing a solo is "to solo", and the performer is known as a soloist.

During this time, Cabaret Voltaire toured Europe, Japan, and the United States without major record label support, releasing Hai!, a live album recorded in Japan, in 1982.

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

Sound recording and reproduction recording of sound and playing it back

Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.

In late 1982, Cabaret Voltaire decided consciously to turn in a more commercial direction. The group enlisted American dance music producer John Robie to remix "Yashar", a track from their 1982 album 2x45 . The 12-inch single was released by Factory Records in May 1983, and received extensive play in dance clubs. In August 1983, the album The Crackdown was released on Some Bizzare / Virgin Records and reached number 31 in the UK Albums Chart [9] – 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 , on several tracks of which Bill Nelson played guitar. This was followed by the house-influenced Groovy, Laidback & Nasty in 1990. A series of completely instrumental works under the Cabaret Voltaire name was released on Instinct Records in 1993 and 1994. The last Cabaret Voltaire release to feature Mallinder on vocals was the Body and Soul album in 1991.

Since the mid-late 1980s, Kirk began a solo career under several names, including Electronic Eye and Sandoz, while Mallinder 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..." [10]

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". [11]

In 2001, Watson appeared in the documentary film Made in Sheffield , where he discussed the early years of Cabaret Voltaire. Since that time, Kirk has resurrected the Cabaret Voltaire name and has released new albums with New Zealand band Kora called Kora! Kora! Kora! and Sheffield band, The Tivoli called National Service Rewind. The new material was recorded at Western Works studios.

The experimental 'Sensoria Festival of Film and Music' is named after the Cabaret Voltaire song, and has become an annual event held in Sheffield since 2008. [12]

In July 2014, Berlin Atonal reported that Cabaret Voltaire were to perform at the festival. [13] The performance – the first in twenty years – saw a set list of all new material performed by a line-up "consisting solely of machines, multi-screen projections and Richard H. Kirk", the lone remaining member of the 'group'.

In early August 2016, Cabaret Voltaire performed an hour long set of otherwise unreleased material at the Dekmantel festival in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.[ citation needed ]

Band members

Discography

Studio albums

Boxset

Remix albums

Live albums

Compilation albums

Singles and EPs

Selected compilation appearances

See also

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<i>Three Mantras</i> 1980 studio album by Cabaret Voltaire

Three Mantras is an album by English band Cabaret Voltaire. It was released in May 1980, through record label Rough Trade.

<i>Extended Play</i> (Cabaret Voltaire EP) 1978 EP by Cabaret Voltaire

Extended Play is an extended play and the debut release by English industrial band Cabaret Voltaire. It was released in November 1978, through record label Rough Trade.

<i>Micro-Phonies</i> (album) 1984 studio album by Cabaret Voltaire

Micro-Phonies is the sixth full-length studio album by British electronic band Cabaret Voltaire. Released in November 1984, the album was the group's most mainstream hit to date, with the singles "Sensoria" and "James Brown" gaining popularity, especially the former, due to the music video finding MTV airplay. The album sees Cabaret Voltaire continuing to change, pursuing the more synthpop-oriented direction they had started shifting towards on The Crackdown.

<i>2x45</i> 1982 studio album by Cabaret Voltaire

2x45 is the fourth studio album by English band Cabaret Voltaire. It was released in May 1982, through record label Rough Trade.

Yashar (song) single

"Yashar" is a single by Cabaret Voltaire. The single is two remixes by John Robie of a track from their 1982 album 2x45. A version of the song also appears on the live album Hai! .

<i>Mix-Up</i> (Cabaret Voltaire album) 1979 studio album by Cabaret Voltaire

Mix-Up is the debut studio album by English band Cabaret Voltaire. It was released on 23 October 1979, through record label Rough Trade.

<i>Live at the Y.M.C.A. 27-10-79</i> 1980 live album by Cabaret Voltaire

Live at the Y.M.C.A 27-10-79 is a live album by industrial/post-punk band Cabaret Voltaire, recorded in 1979 and originally released in 1980 by Rough Trade. It was re-released on CD in 1990 on Mute Records in the UK and on Restless Records in the US. The album contains an unrecognizable cover of The Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now" from their album White Light/White Heat.

<i>Red Mecca</i> 1981 studio album by Cabaret Voltaire

Red Mecca is the third studio album by English band Cabaret Voltaire. It was released in September 1981, through record label Rough Trade.

<i>The Voice of America</i> (album) 1980 studio album by Cabaret Voltaire

The Voice of America is the second studio album by English band Cabaret Voltaire. It was released in July 1980, through record label Rough Trade.

<i>Hai!</i> (Live in Japan) 1982 live album by Cabaret Voltaire

Hai! is a 1982 live album by the U.K. industrial band Cabaret Voltaire. It was recorded at the Tsubaki House in Tokyo, Japan on 23 March 1982, and was released on CD in 1991 by Mute Records Ltd. The original master tapes being lost, the CD was transferred from a vinyl copy.

<i>Johnny Yesno: The Original Soundtrack From the Motion Picture</i> album by Cabaret Voltaire

Johnny Yesno: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture is an album by the Industrial band Cabaret Voltaire. It was made as a soundtrack to Peter Care's movie of the same title, which in turn led to Peter Care directing the video for Cabaret Voltaire's hit song "Sensoria". This started a music video-making career for Peter Care, who has since then directed films for R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen, Roy Orbison, and Depeche Mode, amongst others.

<i>The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord</i> (album) 1985 studio album by Cabaret Voltaire

The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord is the seventh full-length studio album by the Electronic band Cabaret Voltaire. The album was released on Some Bizarre Label in November 1985. The album's title was shortened to The Arm of the Lord for the United States.

Groovy, Laidback and Nasty is the ninth studio album by English electronic band Cabaret Voltaire, released in April 1990 by record label Parlophone.

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References

  1. Gimarc, George (2005). Punk diary : the ultimate trainspotter's guide to underground rock : 1970 - 1982. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 17. ISBN   0-87930-848-6.
  2. Bland, Benjamin (18 June 2014). "Cabaret Voltaire - #7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985)". Drowned in Sound . Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  3. 1 2 Bush, John. "Cabaret Voltaire". Allmusic . Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  4. "Cabaret Voltaire – Band Profiles". Uncommon People. 2014. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  5. "Made in Sheffield: A decade of Documenting Sheffield Music: Gunrubber excerpts". www.sheffieldvision.com. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  6. Punk Diary – the ultimate Trainspotters guide to underground rock. Backbeat Books. p. 144. ISBN   0-87930-848-6.
  7. In Session Tonight. BBC Books. p. 487. ISBN   0-87930-848-6.
  8. Punk Diary – the ultimate Trainspotters guide to underground roc. Bakbeat Books. p. 197. ISBN   978-0563364528.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 89. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  10. Vintage Cab Sav, Andrez Bergen. Zebra, Inpress , 1996.
  11. "Smuggled Sounds: Cabaret Voltaire: The Three Mantras". 13 November 2006. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  12. "Sensoria 2010". 2010.sensoria.org.uk. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  13. "Cabaret Voltaire to play first gig in 20 years at Berlin festival". NME.com. Retrieved 6 July 2014.

Further reading