Wednesday 21 May 2014

Review: Cabaret Voltaire – '#7885 (Electropunk To Technopop 1978-1985)'

'#7885 (Electropunk To Technopop 1978-1985)'

Cabaret Voltaire need no introduction. Their influence on the creation and development of electronic and industrial music has been enshrined by the bands and artists they continue to influence today. The band's latest career retrospective, courtesy of Mute Records, charts the Sheffield trio's evolution from Dada-influenced electropunk pioneers to polished technopop domination.

The collection is a veritable 'best of' with early favourites leading into their later, more evolved works. A combination that will undoubtedly proved to be an essential purchase from now on for those taking their first steps into the band's work. While the last release, the six-CD box set '#8385 (Selected Works 1983-1985)' charted Cabaret Voltaire's celebrated “middle period”, the new compilation provides a more concise overview of the band's development and evolution throughout the earlier part of the decade.

It's interesting to listen to the track list as the earlier, more experimental tracks such as 'Do The Mussolini', 'Nag Nag Nag', 'Silent Command', and 'Seconds Too Late' featuring the seeds of what the band's sound would ultimately become in terms of groove and melody. The likes of 'Just Fascination', 'Crackdown', 'Sensoria', and 'I Want You' then take over and show how the band managed to develop that sense of pop melody while continually pushing what the band were capable of artistically.

The compilation has been well-crafted and produced to get the best quality out of the tracks. Despite the noticeable jump in quality from the grittier recordings to the more polished efforts, the collection flows quite nicely, with every song still complimenting the others.

It doesn't really matter whether you are a long time fan or someone who was until recently unacquainted with Cabaret Voltaire, this is an essential purchase. It's an easy introduction to one of electronic music's most dynamic protagonists, and a great way to rekindle your love. A third instalment surely must be on the horizon to chart the band's later years and give closure on a great retrospective.

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