Cabaret Voltaire Red Mecca
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- Released: February 19, 2002
- Label: Mute U.S.
Uncut - 2/03, p.925 stars out of 5 - "...Their masterpiece....They pulled all their various aesthetic strands together and struck the perfect balance between experimentalism and entryism..."
- 1.A Touch of Evil
- 2.Sly Doubt
- 4.A Thousand Ways
- 5.Red Mask
- 6.Split Second Feeling
- 7.Black Mask - (Arabic)
- 8.Spread the Virus
- 9.A Touch of Evil (Reprise)
Cabaret Voltaire includes: Stephen Mallinder (vocals, bass, bongos); Christopher Watson (vocals, tapes); Richard H. Kirk (guitar, strings, clarinet, horns).
Recorded in May 1981.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Stephen Mallinder (vocals, bass guitar, bongos, percussion); Richard H. Kirk (guitar, strings, clarinet, horns, synthesizer, wind); Nik Allday (drums).
Recording information: Western Works (05/1981).
RED MECCA is one of the strongest offerings in the wildly eclectic catalogue of this seminal art-noise ensemble. Crucial to the development of electronic dance music, Cabaret Voltaire experimented with hardcore industrial, avant-garde noise, house, and electronica. The music on 1981's RED MECCA falls somewhere between these categories, borrowing a bit from each. Bookended by warped, unsettling versions of the theme music from the Orson Welles film TOUCH OF EVIL, RED MECCA spins the listener though a sinister soundscape that is mesmerizing, challenging, and, at times, danceable.
In Cabaret Voltaire's world, nothing is as it seems. Vocalist/bassist Stephen Mallinder's rants are electronically manipulated to blend into Chris Watson's tape loops, while Richard H. Kirk's wiry synthesizer and guitar lines create an almost underwater effect. The programmed drums are punchy and aggressive, giving the whole an insistent, violent edge. It is oddly fascinating to listen to this synth- and tape loop-based music in the wake of the avalanche of '90s IDM and laptop artists. Although the record sounds somewhat dated in comparison to many IDM albums, RED MECCA is nevertheless an important document in the evolution of electronic music.
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