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// May 2009 archive

// 05.21.09

Sensoria: Cabaret Voltaire



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 the following decade. The band, formed by guitarist Richard H. Kirk, bassist Stephen Mallinder and tape manipulator Chris Watson, were influenced by the Dadaist movement (whence came their name) and as such, came closer to performance art than music during many of their early performances. After several years of recording with no contract, the group signed to the newly formed Rough Trade label in 1978 and began releasing records that alternated punk-influenced chargers with more experimental pieces incorporating tape loops and sampled effects.

Following Watson's departure, the remaining duo inaugurated a new contract with Some Bizzare/Virgin in 1983 by shifting their sound, away from raging industro-funk and towards a more danceable form. The singles "Sensoria" and "James Brown" hit the indie charts during 1984, and Cabaret Voltaire moved to EMI/Parlophone in 1986 for The Code. Two years later, the band traveled to Chicago to record Groovy, Laidback & Nasty with Marshall Jefferson, one of the mavericks in the new house sound blowing up in the British charts. After another break of several years, the new-electronica label Instinct released a trio of CV LPs during 1993-94, after which the band's future appeared cloudy. Kirk continued his solo career (recording as Electronic Eye, Sandoz and himself) while Mallinder moved to Australia.

— John Bush, allmusic

The Hacker: Clock DVA

A product of the same mid-'70s Sheffield industrial music community which also gave rise to Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA emerged in 1980 from the ashes of area bands including the Studs, Block Opposite, Veer and They Must Be Russians as well as the Future, an early incarnation of the Human League. After a series of shifting lineups, a roster comprised of vocalist Adi Newton, bassist Steven Taylor, guitarist Paul Widger, saxophonist Charlie Collins and drummer Roger Quail recorded Clock DVA's debut White Souls in Black Suits, a cassette-only, improvisational release fusing metallic noise with funk and soul designs which was issued on Throbbing Gristle's Industrial label.

In 1981, the group issued Thirst, which abandoned R&B accoutrements in favor of edgy, abrasive electronic noise. Following its release, all of Clock DVA except Newton defected to form Box; after assembling a new lineup of saxophonist Paul Browse, future Siouxsie and the Banshees guitarist John Carruthers, bassist Dean Dennis and drummer Nick Sanderson, Newton wrangled a major-label deal with Polydor, and Clock DVA soon resurfaced with 1983's Advantage, an intense montage of dance beats, piercing feedback and jarring tape manipulations. However, Carruthers and Sanderson both exited following the LP's release; after a brief attempt to forge on as a trio, Clock DVA disbanded in late 1983.

Newton subsequently turned his focus to the Anti Group, an industrial jazz and visual arts project created in tandem with engineer Robert Baker; after a series of singles, he reformed Clock DVA in 1988 with Browse and Dennis, releasing the sample-fueled 1988 EPs The Hacker and The Act, as well as 1990's full-length Buried Dreams, on the Wax/Trax label. By 1991's Transitional Voices, Newton's Anti Group partner Baker had replaced Browse; Dennis departed soon after, leaving the remaining duo to record a staggeringly prolific amount of material including 1992's Man-Amplified, 1993's Sign, Black Words on White Paper and Virtual Reality Handbook, 1994's 150 Erotic Calibrations and 1995's Anterior.

— Jason Ankeny, allmusic

Shoes: Tiga On Tour

Tiga is on tour with his new album and look what I found, a video for Shoes. Directed by Alex & Liane, the new video for Tiga's "Shoes" is cooler than Obama with frosted tips. "It imagines a horrifying dystopia in which people other than myself are interviewed," says the Man of Music Future, "I had to calm myself down by staring at my MySpace photos for a couple of hours."

He is playing next week in San Francisco at the Independent Thursday, May 28th 10PM.

Based in Montreal, Tiga is a DJ/producer who has effectively worked the underground and the mainstream with his wry brand of campy electro and stark techno. Born in Montreal, Canada, Tiga's first exposure to his future came from touring the Goa area of India with his DJ father throughout the '80s. Following in his father's footsteps, Tiga began spinning in Montreal's cooler clubs in the early '90s, bringing the acid house sound to Canada. Seeing as how there weren't any events like the Goa parties he had attended, the DJ made his own and later was credited with throwing Canada's first proper rave. The events continued as Tiga opened one of the earliest techno-only record stores, DNA, and he also started the Turbo label with fellow DJ Mark Dillon. The DJ was comfortable playing and releasing other people's music and didn't seriously concentrate on creating his own tunes until the 2000s. After spinning Miss Kittin & the Hacker's version of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" at a club, Tiga had the idea to record some kind of cover version with Finnish DJ and friend Jori Hulkkonen. A day in the studio yielded a disappointing version of Prince's "When Doves Cry" and a better version of U2's "New Years Day," but it was their version of fellow Montreal resident Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" that the duo decided to release in 2001 under the name Tiga & Zyntherius. It was a huge hit and Tiga rounded out the year with two successful mix CDs, American Gigolo and Mixed Emotions. Interviews, remixes, and touring kept the DJ busy until he helmed an edition of K7's successful mix CD series DJ Kicks. In the DJ Kicks tradition, he recorded one new track, "Man Hrdina," for the album, which the label released as a single. Most DJs chose the single's B-side, an electro version of Nelly's "Hot in Herre," and both the single and the mix CD were re-released to feature the surprise smash hit.

— David Jeffries, allmusic

 


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