100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #75 Cabaret Voltaire – The Crackdown

Released : 1983

Whilst some of the lines of early electronic music were clean, symmetrical and unquestionably pop, underneath the surface a group of more experimental pioneers had keyed directly into darker themes of alienation, the onset of the post industrial age and society’s march to autocracy.

One of the earliest examples of this dislocated new urban reality was captured via The Normal’s Warm Leatherette, whilst having formed in the relative isolation of Sheffield in the early seventies, Cabaret Voltaire had embraced the accompanying great leap forward in technology and were using this to build waves of Dada-inspired futurism.

A duo consisting of Richard H. Kirk and Stephen Mallinder by the time The Crackdown was released, its title song was filled with the paranoia and inner dread of living under the flags of the Cold War. Mallinder’s sibilant voice, delivered in monotone against the oily, synthesised funk and digital abstraction, sounded like an interrogator had quietly slipped into your nightmares: See You or Girls on Film this was absolutely not.



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