Cabaret Voltaire - #7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978 - 1985) - - Soundblab

Cabaret Voltaire - #7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978 - 1985)

by D R Pautsch Rating:8 Release Date:2014-06-23

Career compilations come in two different forms. First there is the best of. Typically, this hints at a wide body of work picked apart to include hits and near misses. For some bands, there are far too many of the latter. Then there are retrospectives. These are usually a deeper look at an artist's output which tend to include the hits, the album tracks and some rarities and versions previously unreleased.

This Cabaret Voltaire compilation definitely fits into the latter category. Not because it contains much variety from the standard outputs - it does contain radio edits etc. No, the reason is that it works as a point to review the output and influence of a band who were ahead of their time.

Cabaret Voltaire formed in 1973. Their time was spent making industrial punk before such a thing existed. Listening to singles like 'Nag, Nag, Nag' and 'On Every Other Street', the sparse arrangements don't so much echo the time they were recorded but remind you of what has been recorded since.

'Just Fascination' sounds like The Knife if they didn't come from cold northern Europe. 'Animation' sounds more original than the new romantic movement which surrounded the band by this point. 'James Brown' exemplifies the funk and grooves which influenced their later music.

However, its the echoes of bands that followed: The Knife, Django Django and many others can be heard in these tracks. Their debt may not be direct but they have been influenced.

If a band's legacy can be usually judged by their output, Cabaret Voltaires can also be judged by the output of those that followed. They may not have been beloved by all at the time, but today their influence can be found at the edges of what we call pop music.

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Just Fascination has special memories for me. I remember it in all the dingy late night danceclubs I inhabitated at the time. Must pick this up.

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