Friday, October 3, 2008

Floorfiller: Cabaret Voltaire, 'Sensoria'

Born out of the proto-electronica scene of seventies Sheffield, Cabaret Voltaire were essentially a punk band who ditched the guitars and replaced them with rudimentary synthesisers creating a delightful variety of experimental electronic music, losing none of the aggression through the cold technology. Nowadays it’s easy to look back and hail the groups of this era as prescient visionaries shaping the techno landscape of the following decade but this is essentially industrial music, primeval and raw.

It wasn’t until micro-phonies in 1984 that they went all commercial on us and started turning all that punk energy into something to demolish your dancefloor, even getting some airtime on MTV in the process.

The original 'Sensoria' had meat put on its bones with a retooled 12-inch mix in 2001, something to really get excited by. It starts with a series of thudding beats, you know that familiar eighties ‘massive drum in a warehouse’ sound like the reverb’s been pushed into the stratosphere. The addition of a wickedly primitive bassline envelopes the sonic environment livening up proceedings nicely, the stuttering attack comes across as an experience not unlike being beaten repeatedly by a mallet. Acidic electronic licks, the catchy sample and upfront vocals build the track into a colossal exercise in rhythm.

Not so much something to rock the foundations as uproot them and steamroll anything foolish enough to cross the path.

Where to find: The Original Sound of Sheffield '83/'87

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