Cabaret Voltairewas a British music band from Sheffield, England. The members of the group were originally, Stephen Mallinder, Richard H. Kirk, and Chris Watson. The band was named after a nightclub in Zurich, Switzerland. The nightclub was the center for the early Dada movement. The groups first performances were dada style but they later changed their style of music to pop with dance music, dub house, techno, and electronic.
The band experimented with their music to get the sound they were wanting and to get a sound that would sell to the public. They seemed to be more interested in the sound more than the song. They have documented their early experiments on a 3 CD set called, Methodology (Mute 2000). Eventually they did a live performance and they attracted negative reactions from the audience in Sheffield. During one incidence, Mallinder was hospitalized with a chipped backbone after the audience had objects thrown at them while they were performing. When the punk rock style of music began to get attention and recognition. They were more welcomed by the audience.
Cabaret Voltaire signed with Rough trade records in 1978, and released several experimental singles and Eps. Some of their songs were, Extended Play, Nag Nag Nag, Three Mantras, and 3 Crepuscule Tracks. They also released albums such as The Voice of America, in 1980, and Red Mecca in 1981. The group toured Europe, Japan, and America. Without major label support, they released the album Hai! In 1982. This album was a live recording recorded in Japan. Chris Watson left in 1983 and the group decided to turn to the commercial side of music and released the album, The crackdown. They recorded the album on the Virgin Records label. The album reached number 31 ion the U. K. ChartIn 1984 they released the singles, Sensoria, and James Brown, and in 1987 they released Code, Groovy, and Laidback & Nasty followed in 1990.
Richard Kirk had a solo career since the 1980's and went under the names of Electronic Eye and Sandoz. Mallinder has moved to Perth, Australia and records there with collaborator, Sassi & Loco, and also lately with Kuling-Bros. He also has his own Offworld Sounds label.
There were rumors at one time that there was going to be a reunion of the group but it never materialized. Kirk had dropped hints in the 1990's that there was going to be a reunion but it was not to happen. Kirk still hints that he may bring the Cabaret Voltaire name back but he will get some new young members involved. The group has released 19 albums, 29 singles, and have done 8 compilation appearances.
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