Cabaret Voltaire
Mix-Up


3.5
great

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
November 9th, 2009 | 12 replies | 6,477 views


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist


1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Cabaret Voltaire are often seen as one of the pioneering groups of the British industrial music scene in the mid 70's, much like contemporaries Throbbing Gristle they started life as a dada influenced performance art act later to focus more on the kind of subversive musical experiments that would fill the gap left by the death of the first wave of punk rock towards the end of the decade. Alongside the birth of post-punk, something of a more artsy, misanthropic kind of angst was in the air from a generation of people influenced by post-modern literature, art and controversial underground political and philosophical views. Tied in with the potential of what the coming digital age was beginning to offer for harsher, more mechanical and soulless sound experimentation, the first wave of industrial music was born.

Cabaret Voltaire leant more towards post-punk then most of their peers, and their first release in 1979's Mix-Up shows that more then anything. The Cabs would go on to be seen as a pioneering force in both industrial and electronic music in general, but the early experiments on offer here don't quite have the same feel as some of their later work. Kirlian Photograph opens Mix-Up, led by a goofy bassline, simple drum machine and a hissing, dissonant synth rhythm playing off this rhythmic interplay it is similar to much of the feel of the album. The production is dark, with a distinct analogue quality that is both detrimental to its sound and part of its appeal.

No Escape is very similar, probably a little more playful with its distorted textures and almost happy sounding melodies. Fourth Shot sounds like it could have been a Public Image Ltd. track if they dabbled in electronic sounds a little more, beginning with some electronic warbling it introduces a lonely hi-hat snare and dissonant rhythm guitar. It provides a nice wall of gloomy texture, as does Eyeless Sight, with a more pronounced old school drum machine driving it. Many of the other songs follow very similar formulas, something of underproduced old school post-punk with some electronic effects and noise experimentation. It's probably not worth pulling these apart for that mere fact, but suffice it to say despite the lack of variety the album remains an interesting listen.

Mix-Up is one of the first industrial recordings to emerge from one of it's key pioneers, and so is probably more valuable as a history lesson for most then something that is pleasurable to listen today. That is not to say this is not an appealing listen, to fans of post-punk, analogue electronic music and lo-fi in general there is plenty to enjoy. It'd probably be worth getting something like The Voice of America or Throbbing Gristle's The Second Annual Report instead.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Meatplow
November 10th 2009



5524 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCiFw0N8yYc

No Escape

i'm bored, overtired and doing my bi-montly review run. I decided there is not nearly enough industrial appreciated around here (apart from the obvious promoters who shall not be named) ;]

Gyromania
November 10th 2009



15200 Comments


Another excellent read. You also gave me a word I've been meaning to use lately- 'detrimental', lol. Did you have all of these written days ago?

Meatplow
November 10th 2009



5524 Comments


Nah, I wrote them all over the past few hours.

I usually do this when insomnia gets the best of me and I try to pull an all-nighter to get my sleep back into whack.

Gyromania
November 10th 2009



15200 Comments


Impressive. Funny you should say that, as that's exactly what I'm attempting to do right now, haha. 5 more hours to go.

Meatplow
November 10th 2009



5524 Comments


I hear you, brother. 5 pm here, trying to make it for a few hours more.

Gyromania
November 10th 2009



15200 Comments


I should try to pump out one of my reviews in the next 5 hours, but that would require taking a 5 minute walk home to grab my USB stick with the review on it, and then doing editing here... which requires moving.

Meatplow
November 10th 2009



5524 Comments


Nice

I need more CV

Willie
Moderator
November 11th 2009



15877 Comments


Good review. It's weird because as much as I like industrial, I've always ignored a lot of the "originators" such as this band.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

IAJP
July 16th 2010



378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this pretty much sums up the start of their sound, deffo not their best but without it they wouldn't have done all of the other groundbreaking stuff. great review dawg

Sabottheory
August 5th 2010



355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, I might be overstating it a little with giving it a 4 rating, but I find this post-punk/early industrial hybrid really enjoyable, my favourite track being Fourth Shot. If Red Mecca is even better than this, well, holy shit.
Good review anyways

Meatplow
August 5th 2010



5524 Comments


Red Mecca is good

check out Micro-Phonies and The Voice of America too

kinghui
August 14th 2010



6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fun album, love this early post punk industrial overlap



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