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CABARET VOLTAIRE-THE CRACKDOWN

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD
  • ASIN: B000007TY5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,267,192 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
CV's first album in their most commercial phase and what an album it is. Tracks such as the album's two highpoints, 'Talking Time' and 'Animation' instantly jump out to the listener with their catchy lyrics and rhythms.
'Just Fascination' sounds like the Human League, but much more raw and interesting. 'Haiti' gives a nod to dub and with the chiming guitars makes for enjoyable listening.
Also featured is 'Diskono' pulled from their previous experimental phase, but nonetheless extremely catchy.
There are ambient/soundtrack excursions too with tracks like the wonderful 'Doublevision' and 'Badge of Evil'.
Overall their best album, which is my opinion, but that's upto you to decide for yourself when you hear it.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Feb. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This highly influential UK band made different styles of experimental music throughout the various phases of their career. They were pioneers of the use of found sounds and tape loops. Their most memorable song, in my opinion, is the classic single Nag Nag Nag with its compelling beat and appealing guitar distortion.

The Crackdown from 1986 found them in a dance/electronic mood, with a sound not unlike some of the work of Brian Eno, Simple Minds or even the much later Autechre. At fist listen, the album may come across as somewhat monotonous although repeated listens will reveal the subtle textures that make the music absorbing and enjoyable.

The opening track 24-24 is spacious and melodious while In The Shadows has interesting percussion and keyboard. The lilting Talking Time is quite tuneful and accessible, reminding me of the classic number I Travel by Simple Minds. Another highlight is the hypnotic track Over And Over with its appealing instrumental mix. Just Fascination is atmospheric and mesmeric whilst the rhythmic Why Kill Time has an innovative texture.

The song with the most discernible found sounds is Haiti, an ominous experimental excursion. The title track is a rhytmic dancefloor classic and is followed by four extra tracks on this issue. The Crackdown is not Cabaret Voltaire's most innovative or memorable album, but fans will enjoy it. Real rating: three and a half stars.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Cabaret Voltaire defined their own niche - an early electronic band with parallels to their neighbours Human League and Heaven 17, but an edgy, less commercial feel. My highlights of this album are 24-24, Just Fascination and Why Kill Time ?
This record has a classic mid-80's electronic sound, but easily stands the test of time - it is superb.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98918b94) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9860a288) out of 5 stars Best industrial album of its time 16 Mar. 2001
By Carlos Santos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In the early 80's, when Industrial music meant a lot more than loud guitars with a beat, Cabaret Voltaire were considered one of the innovators and groundbreakers of the then exciting music form. They were certainly in the same artistic level as Throbbing Gristle and any 80's industrial fan would have known and owned this music. This particular brand of industrial music went on to directly influence such bands as Ministry ("Twitch"), Front 242, Nitzer Ebb and Skinny Puppy as well as many others. In this music, the sound is dark and bleak, political sensibilities and paranoia abound, the individual is lost and there is no redemption; certainly alienation at it's finest. Not the stuff for pop radio. This particular CD finds the Cabs going in the direction of dark dance music, the rhythms run cold and deep, while the vocals linger over the top with messages and warnings all too understandable. This cd is well worth the price of admission for such classics as Fascination and Why Kill Time (when you can kill yourself). I should add that the electronic music shown here is well done certainly repetitive, but intelligent and well thought out. Anyone who has a taste in harder or more experimental electonica should certainly give this a listen. The year, 1983, when this came out, still had industrial music shying away from guitars. Electronics, found music (Test Department), and experimental drone (Swans, Einstürzende Neubauten) were the norm. Ministry was to release their ode to the Human League, note the album called "With Sympathy", and had yet to discover guitars. It was a great year, and this was the best industrial album of its time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98546dec) out of 5 stars A Critical Industrial Release 27 Jan. 2000
By DAC Crowell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album by Cabaret Voltaire spans a strange period in industrial music. CabVolt were part of the initial wave of industrial, along with artists such as Throbbing Gristle, Robert Rental, et al. But the Cabs went on to start to fuse their noise with the harder rhythms of dance music, gradually crafting a danceable variant of industrial that would eventually become the definition of the genre from the mid-80s forward. And this release finds Cabaret Voltaire at this crux-point, as they find their stride at combining noise, disco, funk, and techno-pop to rewrite the book on industrial. Anyone into electronic beats needs this album, if only as a reference-point. Every track hits home with its abrasive, jerky, yet nail-hard rhythms, grating atmospherics, and chanted vocals. It's sad, however, that there's nothing rereleased from the Cabs' prior period, especially their tenure on Rough Trade where they first began the explorations that led them here. But this is an excellent point to wind up, and an excellent release to have.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9860a420) out of 5 stars The more accessible side of Cabaret Voltaire. 29 Nov. 2005
By Mark A. Carter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is absolutely `Cabaret Voltaire's' best album in my opinion. Before this came out their output had a very industrial sound. All dirty distortion, tape loops & discordant buzzing noise. Much in the vein of say `Throbbing Gristle' or maybe `Test Dept.'. But with this Album it seems they decided to make the music cleaner and more (dare I say it) pop-oriented. You may find yourself singing along to `Why Kill Time (When you can kill yourself)' or humming the very catchy `Crackdown' while you do the dishes. The vocals are clear and hard and the lyrics suitably disturbing and all backed by nice hard dark synth lines that will pound the songs into your brain. Despite its cleaner sound the image of Cabaret Voltaire still remained somewhat sinister if perhaps a bit more stylish. `Just Fascination' is a wonderfully put together track with a pretty complex arrangement complimented by highly introspective lyrics that would be a hit I'm sure in any Psychiatric Ward for the mentally insane. So, to sum up. 1982. A new direction for the group. Catchier, beatier, more danceable (Yes, no more Joy Division Anorak Head nodding on this one) & funkier. Totally accessible to anyone with an ear to the more interesting of the output coming out of Britain in 1982.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98608678) out of 5 stars A new beginning for the Cabs 30 April 2010
By H. Jin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
`The Crackdown' marks the beginning of a new phase of Cabaret Voltaire's career, showcasing a much more streamlined and danceable sound compared to their earlier albums. A large part of this can be attributed to the departure of Chris Watson, and the absence of his layers of tape loops, distortion and white noise give the album a much "cleaner" production. Those droning, processed keyboard lines have been replaced by brighter sequencers and synth stabs. The drum machines are more upfront and propulsive than ever, setting down strong dance-tempo beats for every song. Likewise, the vocals are clearer and more upfront, with some of the lyrics even being recognisable. In all, it's quite a sharp stylistic jump, significantly more accessible and straightforward than `Red Mecca' or `2 X 45'.

Probably the closest thing to their older sound are the two least danceable tracks; the tribal `In The Shadows' and the measured `Haiti'. Elsewhere, from the hip hop tinged opener '24-24' to the extended 12"-like title track, this is music designed for clubs. But don't be fooled, Cabaret Voltaire certainly haven't "sold out". There is still an extensive use of sampling and production effects, and while Stephen Mallinder's voice is less sinister than before, he still spits out very dark and enigmatic lyrics in an often menacing manner. The driving, forceful `Over And Over' is the best example, but his vocals give an air of uneasiness to catchy songs such as `Talking Time' and `Just Fascination'. On the other hand, `Animation' is the closest thing to pure disco...I dare you to listen to this track and keep your body still.

Please don't believe any of the negative "sellout" accusations directed at the band's mid-80's work. Although in 2010 some might view this as little more than dark synthpop, `The Crackdown' was groundbreaking when it was first released, and even three decades later still feels fresh and full of amazing ideas. The fact that every 80's synthpop band started copying them by using sampling and repetition isn't the Cabs' fault. "We never sold out to disco, disco sold out to us", Mallinder once protested, and there's definitely something to that.

If you expect waves of distortion and processed guitar worthy of `Nag Nag Nag' you won't find it here, and if you want brainless dancefloor fodder then go away. But if a bit of darkness and a lot of intelligence is what you like with your dance, `The Crackdown' is essential.

Five stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98e3c804) out of 5 stars noise and beat 8 Mar. 2010
By Darin Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is probably their best overall album, and strikes the best balance between the noise and experimentation of their early work and their more rhythm-conscious later albums. those new to Cabaret Voltaire might be best to start with Micro-phonies, which contains their best known song "Sensoria". This album is darker and more atmospheric and still contains elements of the white noise that dominates Voice of America, Mix-up and Red Mecca. If you like this, try 2 x 45 next.
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