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Eight Crépuscule Tracks

Cabaret Voltaire

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Album Review

An expansion of the original Three Crepuscule Tracks, Eight compiles a variety of slightly random tunes from the group's early-'80s days for general consumption. The main cuts are the first, namely the three parts of "Sluggin fer Jesus." If this cut wasn't the first attempt at what would become one of the most common and ultimately most cliched elements in '80s industrial/EBM — a found-sound tape of an American evangelist over a dance groove — then it was close. Admittedly, at this stage Cabaret Voltaire wasn't dealing in the kinds of massive "up yours" rhythm assaults later groups like Front 242 would perfect, but the jittery, reggae/dub-touched beats and arrangement on the first part are still fine stuff from the group. The second part starts with just the preacher (or perhaps another one) asking for yet more money, followed by instrumental snippets of the band fading up and then cutting out back into low synth/production murk. The final part, titled "Fools Game," has a heavily tweaked semi-rap and more crazed pastoral ranting floating around a combination of an older, emptier style of Cabaret Voltaire sonics and slight, but only slight touches of the electro-funk then making waves. The remainder of the collection is a bit of a mixed bag, but still has some sharp bits. "Yashar," unexpectedly reappearing here from 2 x 45, kicks out a stiff beat and jam pretty well, while much of the latter half of the collection explores the balance between shadowy and more smooth beats and production. The unexpected but still successful surprise wrapping Eight up is nothing other than a surprising faithful if still murky cover of Isaac Hayes' funk classic "Theme from 'Shaft'." Hearing Mallinder go on about the guy who's "the sex machine to all the chicks" via vocal trickery that makes him sound like he's in a cave is amusing no matter how you slice it.

Biography

Formed: 1974 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Though they're one of the most important groups in the history of industrial and electronic music, Cabaret Voltaire are sometimes forgotten in the style's timeline — perhaps because they continued recording long after other luminaries (Throbbing Gristle, Suicide, Chrome) called it quits. Also related to the fact is that CV rarely stayed in one place for long, instead moving quickly from free-form experimentalism through arty white-boy funk and on to house music in the late '80s and electronica...
Full Bio