Cabaret Voltaire has long been considered one of the foremost pioneers of experimental electronic music, garnering critical acclaim during their main period of activity in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The group, which was founded by Stephen Mallinder, Richard H. Kirk, and Chris Watson, hasn’t released any new albums since 1994’s The Conversation. Today, that changes with the announcement of the first new Cabaret Voltaire album in 26 years, Shadow of Fear. Shadow of Fear is the first Cabaret Voltaire album to feature Kirk as the sole member and will be released November 20, 2020 on Mute Records.
“The album was finished just as all the weirdness was starting to kick in,” Kirk said. “Shadow Of Fear feels like a strangely appropriate title. The current situation didn't have much of an influence on what I was doing – all the vocal content was already in place before the panic set in – but maybe due to my nature of being a bit paranoid there are hints in there about stuff going a bit weird and capturing the current state of affairs.”
The genesis of the new album was a set in 2014 Kirk played at Berlin’s Atonal festival, which stated carried the mission statement of “no nostalgia. Normal rules don’t apply…No old material.” From there the Kirk continued to play shows and festival sets as Cabaret Voltaire throughout Europe. While Kirk initially toyed with upgrading his electronic equipment to digital while recording the album at the band’s familiar stomping grounds, Western Works. However, after a “computer failure” he decided to stick with his original gear.
In addition to announcing a new album, Cabaret Voltaire has also shared a new song. The first single from Shadow of Fear is a track called “Vasto,” which is a nearly eight-minute IBM track that courses through various movements and themes during its extended runtime.
Shadow of Fear track listing
1. “Be Free”
2. “The Power (Of Their Knowledge)”
3. “Night Of The Jackal”
4. “Microscopic Flesh Fragment”
5. “Papa Nine Zero Delta United”
6. “Universal Energy”
8. “What’s Goin’ On”