The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


The Primer: Cabaret Voltaire playlist

August 2013

Stream a playlist of tracks based on Keith Moliné's Primer in The Wire 355, charting the improvisatory and inventive spirit of the Cabs.

"Industrial pioneers. Multimedia visionaries. Data-war guerillas. Godfathers of Techno. If ever a group had been damned by well-intentioned hyperbole, it's Cabaret Voltaire."

Chris Watson, Richard H Kirk and Stephen Mallinder initially set out to provoke with their Situationist-inspired tape and noise experiments in an attic in early 1970s Sheffield. Over the following two decades, and in various iterations (Watson left in 1981 to persue a successful carreer as a wildlife recordist), the Cabs slipped between the academic music and punk scenes, courted major label near-mainstream success, but throughout maintained an improvisatory open-endedness, basing their music on intuition rather than conventional musical skill.

Read the full article in The Wire 355. And if you prefer, click here to watch the playlist on YouTube.