Cabaret Voltaire : The Original Sound Of Sheffield ’83-’87 – The Best Of The Virgin/EMI Years

Sheffield electro pioneers compiled...

Trace the tangled circuitry of dance history back to the days of

nuclear paranoia and Margaret Thatcher and there lie Cabaret Voltaire.

Connecting the pristine futurism of Kraftwerk, the dour synth writhings

of no-tech Britain and the incipient dance revolution, Sheffield duo

Richard Kirk and Stephen Mallinder adapted hardware to hard times and

became essential listening in Manchester, New York and Detroit. No

coincidences there, then. “Hugely influential” should cover it – and

with electro now back on the agenda, it’s an impact still sounding


This fine compilation follows the comprehensive 3CD box set ‘Conform To

Deform’ and shows Cabaret Voltaire emerging from the gloom of industrial

experimentation into the bright lights of proto-house. John Luongo’s

1983 mixes of ‘Fascination’ and ‘Crackdown’ loop grimly like an inner-city roundabout: later, the uptight machine funk of ‘Sensoria’ and

‘James Brown’ flush with dance fervour, while ‘Thank You America’ and

‘Here To Go’ let remixers Frances Kervorkian and John Robie draw up all-

new blueprints.

To a generation raised on beats and samples, it might

sound dated but listen, and you can hear the faultlines between old and

new split and widen. Here is the sound of change. For good.

Victoria Segal