It came as a great shock to hear of' Richard Kirk's death this morning. I worked with Richard and Mal when they operated as Cabaret Voltaire in the '80s, playing guitar on one of their albums and appearing in their video for the track 'Here To Go.' I remember Richard also visited me at Haddlesey House back then. Richard was around seven years younger than me, far too young to leave us. I'm terribly saddened by the news as I liked Richard a lot and got on well with him.
It's awful to keep on reporting such talented musician's deaths, there have been so many over the last few years, several of whom I've known personally. It's depressing and troubling. Richard was a true artist with a particular vision, it's hard to believe he's gone. I wish his spirit Godspeed through bright realms...
Oh, no! Just saw this. Next to Bill and Robert Fripp, the Cabs were one of my favs. Saw them in L.A.
Been a fan since the first single release, 'Extended Play', back in 1978, an EP obviously. But it was their follow up single, 'Nag Nag Nag' that really flicked the switch for me. I was playing in local bands at that time and music was indeed the dominant force. For me, and my bandmates, and friends, vinyl record collecting, both singles and albums, was a massive deal, such a buzz and we amassed loads, of what would be very rare records now. Thankfully I still have some, but sadly quite a few lost in the mists of time. The Cabs were great.
I had been collecting Cabaret Voltaire for several years by the time that I was astonished to see that Mr. Nelson had contributed guitar to their "Code" album. He being one of the rare "A-list" guest artists that had contributed to their work. I always wondered how that linkup had occurred, but I can imagine the Kirk and Mal as being fans of Bill's approach to music and reaching out and by that time they had an EMI budget to work with, so why not use it?
The band's POV was incredibly strong as they were intent on deconstructing the "control process" that surrounds society like invisible cell walls. I was surprised to see last year that Kirk had reactivated the Cabaret Voltaire branding on his recent music. I still need to hear "Shadow Of Fear."
The Cabs were very influential for me, and I'm glad to have seen them twice in concert. I don't think Richard ever said a word to, or acknowledged the crowd. It didn't matter as he was obviously working his own brand of musical alchemy up there on stage. As far as his solo work goes, I have most of it, with few exceptions. Many of these were released under aliases, although amazingly enough, I got wind of their existence. While his excursions into a tribal sort of techno are enjoyable, in recent years I gravitated towards the more esoteric, ambient stuff. I also have noticed that in more recent works (including remixes for others) he was incorporating sudden stops and gaps of silence. Fascinating stuff. The Code project was an unexpected dream come true for me. Besides Richard's mastery of synths and samplers, I really enjoy his approach to clarinet, sax and guitar.
Needless to say, I was completely taken by surprise by Richard's sudden passing. RIP and thanks for the multitude of music.
Here To Go still sounding ridiculously funky after all these years - and I had forgotten it was an Adrian Sherwood production too, as per the excellent CODE album whence that track is taken. Cabaret Voltaire being one of those bands that quietly went about their business without any fuss, just making great music, outside of the mainstream, and influencing many. I recall John Grant (also a CV collaborator) specifically picking out Here To Go as an important track for him, and you can certainly hear the influence on JG's recent, excellent, albums.
Am I recalling correctly that Stephen Mallinder contributed to the tributes at Bill's 70th birthday party? To me there's something satisfying in the thought that Bill exists in the sphere of, if you like, the musical 'outsiders' and pioneers, such as Cabaret Voltaire, perhaps more than rubbing shoulders in the 'rock and roll hall of fame' crowd. RIP Richard.