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Cabaret Voltaire are known best for being one of the most important acts in experimental electronic music. #7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985) does exactly what it says on the tin and compiles two distinct periods of Cabaret Voltaire – 1978-81 and 1983-85 – for the first time together on one release. This collection has followed the re-mastered vinyl release of Red Mecca and already legendary and sold out box set, #8385 (Collected Works 1983 – 1985).

#7885 is a collection of tracks that will prove equally as important to the hardcore fans as it will be for an introduction to their work for the new listener. It reminds us of how far the influence of this creative collective has stretched, with their seamless amalgamation of dance music, techno, dub and house music, and furthermore, how their work has stood the test of time.

The collection kicks off with 'Do the Mussolini' and travels through their work from there onwards. With its bouncing experimental, low-key beats and political undertones, it still resonates with urgency and retains its innovative vibe. If this had been a new track released in 2014 rather than 1978, we would still be in awe of its forward-thinking experimentation, further substantiating the fact that Cabaret Voltaire were far ahead of their time and were pioneers of electronic music.

It seems that the collection has been perfectly compiled by Richard H Kirk, as 'Do The Mussolini' blends straight into 'The Set Up', the transition is barely noticeable, as the deranged guitar riff rings out against distortion and a pounding bass line. The collection also features other classics such as 'Landslide' and 'Nag Nag Nag', that blasts out with eclectic, urgent energy, sounding at once very much of its time, but with recognisable features that have influenced more contemporary acts. With their sampling techniques and ability to create a sound that was vastly distinctive to anything else, there was and is nothing quite like it.

It becomes clear that the structuring and formation of this collection of tracks has been carefully curated in such a way that it really does each individual track justice. It also further highlights the evolution of Cabaret Voltaire's sound, and how it develops, always retaining its darkness, but using different genres of electronic music as its focus. It's like travelling through a history of electronic music.

You can virtually hear the early eighties sound slipping in through the music in the second half of the collection as the band consciously moulded themselves into a more commercially-viable affair, especially with 'Breathe Deep' where the collection of songs takes on a lighter mood, moving out of its gloomy darkness, and moving more into the colour of the eighties.

The difference from the first half, with its heavy distortion, unpredictable and haunting nature is vastly different from the second half, as 'Just Fascination' plays out as more of proper eighties dancefloor number. But this is what made Cabaret Voltaire so fascinating - their constant strive to push their music to new realms and see what they could achieve through different sounds and more complicated rhythms.

Then there are other classics such as 'Sensario' and 'I Want You' which really further cement the evolution of Cabaret Voltaire, as they moved straight into eighties technopop territory and cemented their position as innovators of the genre - as fast jutting guitar riffs and over-the-top synths take centre stage and the lyrics become more focused. It's all about creating music that will make people dance.

As the final sighs and beats of 'Warm' fade out, you feel as though you have truly travelled on a journey and seen the evolution of the act. It goes without saying that this is a must have collection that will educate, entertain, and most importantly, remind us of Cabaret Voltaire's lasting influence and cement it in an approachable collection for further generations to delve into.

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