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Music: Cabaret Voltaire

Cabaret Voltaire is one of the Trope Makers and Trope Codifiers of Industrial music. Formed in 1973 and named after the famous Dada nightclub in Zurich, the band combined harsh Suicide-influenced Post Punk rock, instrument-and-voice effects processing, tape manipulation, and eventually such influences as Funk, Dub, Dance, and House to become one of the most prolific and respected artists of 70s and 80s electronic music. The band officially disbanded in 1994, though guitarist Richard H. Kirk resurrected the name in 2009 for collaborative purposes.

Band members included:
  • Richard H. Kirk: guitars, keyboards, tapes (1973-1994, 2009-Present)
  • Stephen Mallinder: vocals, bass, keyboards (1973-1994)
  • Chris Watson: keyboards, tapes (1973-1982)

Key Discography:

  • Extended Play (1978, EP)
  • Mix-Up (1979)
  • The Voice of America (1980)
  • Three Mantras (1980, EP)
  • Red Mecca (1981)
  • 2x45 (1982)
  • The Crackdown (1983)
  • Johnny Yesno (1983)
  • Micro-Phonies (1984)
  • Drinking Gasoline (1985, EP)
  • The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of the Lord (1985)
  • Code (1987)
  • Eight Crepescule Tracks (1988, compilation)
  • Groovy, Laidback and Nasty (1990)
  • Body and Soul (1991)
  • Plasticity (1992)
  • International Language (1993)
  • The Conversation (1994)
  • The Original Sound of Sheffield '83/'87 (2001, compilation)
  • Conform to Deform '82/'90 (2001, compilation)
  • The Original Sound of Sheffield '78/'82 (2002, compilation)
  • Methodology '74/'78: The Attic Tapes (2002, demos compilation)


This band provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: "I Want You", with little room for reinterpretation.
    Freak yourself (Shake it, shake it)
    Close the door (Shake it, shake it)
    What you did (Shake it, shake it)
    Just hit the floor (Shake it, shake it)
  • A Wild Rapper Appears: "Runaway" is the only song on Groovy, Laidback and Nasty with a rap segment.
  • Black Sheep Hit: Reached #16 on the US Dance charts with "Here to Go", the band's only entrance into the US charts. While it fits with the band's sound at the time, it is certainly at odds with everything the band released before it, especially the songs they're best known for.
  • Industrial: Trope Maker and Trope Codifier alongside Throbbing Gristle.
    • Also an Ur Example of Industrial's dance-based subgenre EBM.
  • House/Acid House: Their output from Code through to their dissolution.
  • Intercourse with You: "I Want You", combined with A Date with Rosie Palms.
  • Long Title:
    • The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord
    • "Why Kill Time (When You Can Kill Yourself?)"
  • New Sound Album:
    • The Crackdown began the band's Synth Pop dance era, based around the Electrofunk introduced in the previous album 2x45.
    • Code began the band's House Music era.
  • Non-Indicative Title: Three Mantras has only two mantras: "Western Mantra" and "Eastern Mantra". To further the confusion, the two are switched in the track listing.
  • Notable Music Videos:
    • Pioneers of the music video with "Nag Nag Nag" and "Seconds Too Late".
    • "Sensoria", directed by Peter Care, was procured by the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1986.
  • Post Punk
  • Refuge in Audacity: "Why Kill Time (When You Can Kill Yourself?)"
  • Sampling: Recordings of TV presenters, televangelists and policemen appeared in their music as far back as The Seventies.
    • Extensively sampled The Outer Limits episode "Demon with a Glass Hand", most notably in "Yashar".
      "There's 70 billion people on Earth. Where are they hiding?"
  • Synth Pop: From The Crackdown through The Nineties.

BauhausPost PunkChrome
C 418Musicians/Electronic IndustrialCalvin Harris

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