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Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk has died aged 65

Mute Records paid tribute to the “towering creative genius”

  • Gemma Ross
  • 21 September 2021
Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk has died aged 65

Richard H. Kirk, best known for his work with Sheffield-based industrial band Cabaret Voltaire, has died aged 65.

The pioneering musician was part of the industrial, post-punk scene in the mid-90s, helping to move the sound out to the mainstream alongside Cabaret Voltaire bandmates Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson.

Announcing the news on social media today, 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 & driven path throughout his life & musical career.”

The label also added, “We will miss him so much. We ask that his family are given space,” alongside some photos of the late musician. A cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

The Sheffield-based multi-instrumentalist released music on a handful of major record labels during his three-decade career.

The trio made waves with their new industrial and EBM sounds in the late 70s and early 80s, originally producing experimental sounds on tape recorders while incorporating performance art.

Kirk later released some solo projects in the 1990s, finding his feet on the early techno scene and subsequently working with groups such as Sweet Exorcist, and making music under almost 40 different aliases.

Scanner - AKA Robin Rimbaud - fellow electronic musician and friend of Kirk, paid his respects on Twitter this afternoon: “Farewell to Richard H Kirk (1956-2021) of legendary Sheffield band Cabaret Voltaire.

“Connecting the experimental side of Roxy Music with William S Burrough's cut-up techniques, their The Voice of America (1980) and Red Mecca (1981) remain utter gems of exploratory sound today.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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