Cabaret Voltaire – Hai! – Cassette tape on Mute Records

 

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Cabaret Voltaire – Hai! – Cassette

As the ’80s rolled around, Cabaret Voltaire began to flesh out the harsh electro-industrial minimalism that had characterized their previous releases. Rumblings of funk were heard on Red Mecca (1981) and 2 x 45 (1982), indicating that the Sheffield experimentalists had their sights set on the dancefloor. Hai!, recorded live in Tokyo in 1982, gave a further taste of things to come, paving the way for 1983’s The Crackdown. By the time of this performance, the band’s tape and noise manipulator, Chris Watson, had left to form the Hafler Trio, and Alan Fish, who had contributed to 2 x 45, had been enlisted by Stephen Mallinder and Richard H. Kirk to provide live drums and percussion. In the early days, melody had not been particularly high on Cabaret Voltaire’s sonic agenda, as the band focused on sparse rhythms and dark, abrasive montages that featured loops and samples of found sounds. Although the material on Hai! is less raw and fragmented and shows little of the band’s initial punk sensibility, the rhythmic component — beefed up by the propulsive presence of Fish — is still central to the equation here. On the seven-minute “Yashar” — with its faux-Eastern nuances — the percussion combines with Mallinder’s galloping bass to produce a tribal feel that evokes ’80s Killing Joke. Elsewhere, the results are decidedly funky: “3 Days Monk” is built on some seriously sticky, viscous basslines. The most compelling material comes in the form of “Over and Over” and “Diskono,” on which thin, distorted guitar and more heavy bass spawn mantric patterns as Mallinder barks his familiarly menacing snatches of lyric. Both these tracks, which appeared on The Crackdown the following year, provided strong indications of the hard-edged electro-funk path that Cabaret Voltaire would take in the mid-’80s.

Song List
Walls Of Kyoto
3 Days Monk
Yashar
Over And Over
Diskono
Taxi Music

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