Cabaret Voltaire ‘1974-1976’ UK cassette (Industrial Records IRC35, 1980)

1980 was a productive enough year all round for Sheffield’s Cabaret Voltaire, what with the release of the fine ‘Voice of America’ LP and ‘Seconds Too Late’ 7″, ‘Three Mantras’ 12″ singles as well as the ‘Live at the YMCA’ lo-fi live LP. All prime examples of the earlier, low-tech, abrasive Cabs sound. That they found time to also revisit past recordings and compile the featured cassette here, ‘1974-1976’, released on Throbbing Gristle’s ‘Industrial’ imprint, was even better.

Cabaret Voltaire '1974-1976' cassette, front cover design

^ Cabaret Voltaire ‘1974-1976’ cassette, front cover design

At the time, through a friend, I’d discovered them through the series of 7″ singles starting with ‘Nag, Nag, Nag’, ‘Silent Command’ and ‘Seconds Too Late’. This cassette appeared on the wall of my favourite local record shop, the now long-gone, ‘1-UP’, while they were located in their original Rosemount Viaduct home, and was all too enticing. Somehow, cassettes appealed greatly when there was no equivalent vinyl match and there was something tres modern about the cool grey and monochromatic xerox-quality cover art and weirdly enticing track titles. Sufficient funds secured, I eventually invested and it led my ears to some even odder, late-night headphone-storming sonic pounding than the singles might ever have hinted at. ‘Is That Me Finding Someone At The Door Again’, from the B side of ‘Nag, Nag, Nag’ was the nearest I could compare to what this cassette contained (and hails from a similar vintage). This was all far more primitive and minimal stuff than the singles had been. No coincidence it should be on a Throbbing Gristle imprint.

Cabaret Voltaire '1974-1976' cassette, side A

^ Cabaret Voltaire ‘1974-1976’ cassette, side A

Minimal but intriguing cover notes are provided, giving enough of a hint of the primitive nature of the recording space and circumstances. ‘This cassette is a selection of material recorded by Cabaret Voltaire during their earlier and formative years of existence. All of the recordings were done in an attic 10 feet by 6 feet, on a domestic reel to reel tape recorder. A number of the recordings here were part of those which made up the now legendary Limited Edition cassette released by Cabaret Voltaire in 1976. Happy Listening.’

Culled from a larger body of recordings, which many years in the future would spawn the 3 CD ‘Methodology ’74 / ’78. Attic Tapes’ box set, they had first surfaced on hand-duplicated ‘Limited Edition’ cassettes – this release documented here was the first wide-scale release. Mute Records would do the honours in the early ’90s and give it a digital release on CD, though with a very different cover design thrown in.

As you’ll see from the pics, this has its own home-made similarities to the original ancestor release – dubbed to standard C60 with sticky labels affixed atop the generic ones, the catalogue number is hand-scribed in pencil.

Cabaret Voltaire '1974-1976' cassette, side B and back cover text

^ Cabaret Voltaire ‘1974-1976’ cassette, side B and back cover text

Tracklist

A Side

  1. The Dada Man
  2. Ooraseal
  3. A Sunday Night In Biot
  4. In Quest Of The Unusual
  5. Do The Snake
  6. Fade Crisis

B Side

  1. Doubled Delivery
  2. Venusian Animals
  3. The Outer Limits
  4. She Loved You

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