Essential albums from Chicago-based from singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Gia Margaret. “Instrumental music it can be kind of endless. Sometimes you wonder if what you made is music at […]
The genius of Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk in 5 tracks (RIP)
- Ambient /
- Dub /
- Electronic /
Rest in power Richard H. Kirk. We revisit 5 tracks from the electronic music pioneer’s multitude of projects.
Richard H. Kirk, sadly, has passed at 65. Besides founding influential industrial group Cabaret Voltaire with Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson, Kirk also led a highly prolific solo career using countless aliases that allowed him to express his art beyond the post-punk and industrial sounds of his early years into diverse contemporary genres from techno and house to ambient chillout and dub.
A statement from Kirk’s label Mute said: “It is with great sadness that we confirm our great and dear friend, Richard H. Kirk has passed away. Richard was a towering creative genius who led a singular and driven path throughout his life and musical career. We will miss him so much.”
Today, we revisit five diverse tracks from Kirk’s various projects.
Richard H. Kirk – Never Lose Your Shadow (1982)
Originally included on a CD-only collection of Earlier / Later (Unreleased Projects Anthology 74-89) and then released on vinyl in 2014 on Minimal Wave, “Never Lose Your Shadow” is simply, a huge darkwave tune that will rock any dance floor. The way Kirk makes slight adjustments to the bubbling bassline throughout the track is pure magic.
Sweet Exorcist – Test Four (1989)
Kirk’s “bleep techno” collaboration with DJ Parrot would release the first ever album on seminal electronic label Warp Records. “Test Four,” off of their Testone EP, is a perfect bleep groove and a massive tune that still sounds fresh today.
Electronic Eye – Bush Channel Stepper (1994)
A masterpiece of ’90’s ambient electronic / techno music, Closed Circuit by Kirk’s Electronic Eye dives into dubby territories much like his Sandoz project — though the tracks are much more spacious and often expand across ten minutes. Hypnotic, cosmic, ambient chillout!
Robots + Humanoids – Indigo Octagon (1996)
A one-time alias, Robots + Humanoids continued Kirk’s exploration of ambient and downtempo sounds. We’re not quite sure the reason for using this alias versus the Electronic Eye or Sandoz. Perhaps Robots + Humanoids is slightly more sample-heavy and downtempo focused than the others? Either way, it’s classic Kirk with bubbly synths, deep bass, and beautiful ambient textures.
Sandoz – King Dread (1998)
One of our favorite Kirk projects, Sandoz tapped his Jamaican reggae / dub influences and mixed them with contemporary dance music along with various other world music styles for a truly unique sound. Chant to Jah is a twisted, electronic dub classic that stays a little closer to traditional dub formats. We also recommend checking out Music from Memory’s recent Sandoz compilation for more of the electronic stuff. It’s all devastatingly great…
Don’t miss Carl Craig, Moritz Von Oswald, King Britt, and DJ Holographic this Thursday at MOCA Geffen. Detroit techno visionary Carl Craig needs little introduction, but for our […]
Recent favorites from Chicago, Brooklyn, New Zealand, Basque, Amsterdam, Munich, Tokyo, and Sweden. Each week the global listening community gets bombarded with new releases, reissues and restocks. As […]
The LA-based ambient country-folk duo share recent favorites! Last month, the meditative Los Angeles instrumental outfit North Americans released Long Cool World, its fifth album overall and second […]
An essential album in any collection, ‘Erik Satie: Piano Music’ featured cover illustration by Pablo Picasso. One of the best additions to your record collection, and to your […]
Folklorist Derek Piotr speaks with Austrian experimental electronic producer and guitarist Christian Fennesz. I am pleased to tidy up my “Heroes Series” with a fifth and final entry […]