Thursday 30 May 2024

There's Still 70 Billion People In There

Side 2 of a Cabaret Voltaire mixtape, compiled by my brother in September 1990.
A comment by Alex from the Bamboo Temple Garden blog on discovering Side 1, which I originally posted on 2nd February 2022, reminded me that I hadn't actually got around to posting the other side. 20, 250 hours (give or take an hour here or there) may possibly be the longest gap to complete a mixtape posting yet, so I hope it was worth the wait...!
Given the year that it was recorded, no surprise that this side leans heavily towards the Groovy, Laidback And Nasty album and singles, released earlier in 1990. A controversial album in that some felt that the Cabs had sold out by echoing the house and techno acts that they had inspired, rather than continuing to innovate. Others bemoaned that the music already sounded dated and too poppy. 
I liked the album, singles and remixes. Getting names such as Marshall Jefferson, Ten City, FON Force, Paul Oakenfold, Derrick May involved brought a different, more commercial flavour but as the Cabs' own Western Works mixes proved, Stephen Mallinder and Richard H. Kirk knew exactly what they were doing. Yes, more of it's time that other releases before and after perhaps, but what a time.

This side also features some stone cold classic singles in the seismic 12" remix of Crackdown, the sinister Seconds Too Late and another reason why 1979 was such a brilliant year for music with the scuzzy electro-post-punk of Nag Nag Nag.

Why was one of many previously unreleased tracks that finally saw the light of day in 1990 when Mute's subsidiary label The Grey Area started releasing Cabaret Voltaire's early back catalogue. Why appeared on the excellent 2CD compilation Listen Up With Cabaret Voltaire. Whilst there's absolutely no information about the recording of the track, the seemingly chronological sequencing of tracks with rarities released on NME cover-mounted cassettes and the like suggests that Why may have been recorded circa 1984-1987. It's a great 'lost' track.

Speaking of lost tracks, the original cassette ended with a abruptly cut off 'edit' of The Arm Of The Lord from 1985. As with a similar track tacked onto the end of Side 1, I suspect that this was only included as 'filler' to pad out the C90 side. Much as I like it, as endings go, it doesn't surpass Nag Nag Nag. So, I've cut it here, also providing a more harmonious running time with the previous side.
1) Runaway (Album Version By Cabaret Voltaire & Fon Force) (ft. Ten City) (1990)
2) Life Slips By (Album Version By Cabaret Voltaire & Adrian Sherwood) (1987)
3) Why (????)
4) Seconds Too Late (1980)
5) Crackdown (12" Remix By Cabaret Voltaire & John Luongo) (1983)
6) Keep On (Clubbing) (Remix By Phil Harding) (1990)
7) Fluid (Single Version) (1990)
8) Nag Nag Nag (Single Version) (1979)

1979: Nag Nag Nag EP: 8
1980: Seconds Too Late EP: 4
1983: Crackdown/Just Fascination EP: 5
1987: Code: 2
1990: Easy Life EP: 7
1990: Groovy, Laidback And Nasty: 1
1990: Keep On EP: 6
1990: Listen Up With Cabaret Voltaire: 3
Side Two (45:21) (KF) (Mega)
Side One here
For further Cabaret Voltaire fun, why not Freak Yourself here and here


  1. Thx Khayem for turning the tape over and pressing play again! I already commented on Groovy, Laidback & Nasty. A wonderful album that fits wonderfully into the 90/91 period, presents something completely different and still works very well alongside “Code”, “Micro-Phonies”, “Crackdown” or “the Convenant, the Sword & the Arm of the Lord” can exist. I remember buying the compilation “Listen up with CV” at the World of Music Berlin and it was great fun at home. A bunch of unreleased tracks and especially the last 5 tracks plus Automotivation seemed like lost tracks from the albums mentioned above and were exactly my cup of tea and the enthusiasm was quite high. After albums like that, I kept re-recording my own compilation tapes.
    And of course another very attractive cover, I like to repeat myself.

  2. Greetings, Alex/EAR

    1. Thanks, Alex, it's great to revisit and recreate my old cassette compilations. I listen to Cabaret Voltaire a fair bit but there's something about listening to a mixtape from 20-30 years that brings back so many memories associated with that time. It's lovely that others get some enjoyment from listening to the music too.

      My brother got the Listen Up compilation originally, but I enjoyed it so much that I tracked down a secondhand copy for myself a few years later. The quality of the unreleased music is so high.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks to you too, blureu, glad you liked it!

  4. Now going to hunt for that Listen Up compilation! Loved, loved,loved Code although G,L & Nasty felt a bit like a guilty pleasure :-)

    1. Thanks, dalebanon, worth tracking and in the chunky old school double CD packaging too! Collaborating with Adrian Sherwood on Code was a genius move, and I refuse to feel guilty about Groovy, Laidback & Nasty - it's pure pleasure as far as I'm concerned! ;-)