Tag Archives: Cabaret Voltaire

Shadows Of Funk : Cabaret Voltaire Now & Here and Everywhere

2020 was also the return of a mighty shade from the Past; Richard H. Kirk’s Cabaret Voltaire Album on Mute did stir up the desired wave of attention, raised eyebrows and startled collectors inclusive.

Shadow Of Fear” was simultaneously released as purple double Vinyl album, CD in cardboard wallet, digital files and (gasp) Cassette via long time reissue / archive alley mute. Also a free ltd. 7″ with an Electronic Sound magazine (thankfully not with exclusive tracks only edits) appeared.
This is the first fully worked out CV release after several live appearences from Richard H. Kirk as Cabaret Voltaire starting in 2015 at Berlin Atonal (and two tracks on the accompanying compilation triple 12″). His first reclaim of the groups name for current works where the remix albums “Kora Kora Kora” and “National Service Rewind” for Amrik Rai’s Shiva Records already back in 2009/10, reportedly not being well received by Stephen Mallinder.
So, after an stream of archive, live and studio, remastered and redesigned releases with some excellent results (Johnny YesNo Redux, Drinking Gasoline, Live From London, Chance Vs. Causality) there was finally a new album.
Well, almost. The 8 tracks published where recorded between July 2014 to April 2020, an endless process for someone like RHK who used to drop up to 3 or 4 albums a year in different monikers for several years. Two of these had already been on the Atonal Compilation in diffent versions. So I guess the main effort was to get the balance right between RHK’s own style, expectations coupled to the CV name / brand and proper marketing. As a whole this is good, but not extraordinary and if it had been sold to me as a new RHK album under whatever moniker I had had no problems with it. Seeing it as a continuation of the last Cabaret Voltaire albums – Plasticity, International Language and The Conversation does not really work for me as he plays it safer than needed.

When he published his excellent solo album “Dasein” on his own Intone label after a long silence back in 2017 this felt to me more like his mind had wandered through the different approaches and phases of the past and making a stand for the future.

Dasein

Of course besides a little press and his die hard followers the waves stirred up for this one where foreseeable smaller and the bleak b/w image did not attract occasional listeners in the first place too.

While excitment was still allover the place 3 (!) more new releases had been announced in January; a limited 12″ EP (in funky curacaou Vinyl) for February

…and two one track Drone derivates for March and April. The later again as Double Vinyl Album (in white), CD and digitally available for pre-order.

All design / photography / layout by Richard’s long time allies Phil Barnes and Phil Wolstenholme, mastered to perfection by Denis Blackham.

Rewind : Here as a recent mix of the last years of CV active as the duo Kirk / Mallinder:

Low Cool
The Message (An Original Hollywood Theme)
Searchin’
Colours (Thunder Mix)
Easy Life (Jive Turkey Mix)
Brutal But Clean
Ride Baby Ride (Acid)
Hypnotised
Smooth
Don’t Walk Away
Keep On (Clubbing)
Keep On Pushin’
No Resistance
Afterglow
What Is Real
Alright
Rescue Me (City Lights)
Resonator

RICHARD H. KIRK – SHADOWS OF CABARET VOLTAIRE

‘Vasto’ is taken from the forthcoming Cabaret Voltaire album, Shadow of Fear, to be released on Mute on 20 November 2020.
[CABS30] CD/Vinyl/DL/T-Shirt – Pre-order here.

“The album was finished just as all the weirdness was starting to kick in,” Kirk says. “Shadow Of Fear feels like a strangely appropriate title. The current situation didn’t have much of an influence on what I was doing – all the vocal content was already in place before the panic set in – but maybe due to my nature of being a bit paranoid there are hints in there about stuff going a bit weird and capturing the current state of affairs.”

Since RHK reclaimed the Cabaret Voltaire name for his works, at first for special remix albums like Kora!Kora!Kora! (2009) or National Service Rewind (2010) the discussion started if this is really CV as we know it. Mallinder is reportedly not lucky about this move but he left the band in the 90’s and won’t come back. So legally RHK owns the name and does what he does.

A series of live performances followed with all new material starting with the revitalised Atonal Festival in 2015 and the only released material so far came as two tracks on the triple 12″ document recording. This had been promising but Kirk got sidetracked once more into archival releases via Mute; a RHK and a Sandoz Box with extra material, the long lost ‘Chance Versus Causality‘ Soundtrack from 1979 being the most interesting of them besides the hardly promoted excellent ‘Drinking Gasoline’ CD/DVD package.

This will be the first new material since 2017’s ‘Dasein‘ and hopefully not the last to be heard by Richard H Kirk.
Stephen Mallinder in the meantime went into overdrive frenzy with different projects like Wrangler (Analogue Revival Formation), Creep Show (with added Prog-blues singer) and his 2019 solo album ‘Um Dada’ (Clubmusic).