Richard H Kirk: Who was the singer of Cabaret Voltaire born in Sheffield and how did he die?
According to his record company, Mute, Mr. Kirk died on Tuesday, September 21.
Mute announced the news in a tweet, writing: “It is with great sadness that we confirm that our great and dear friend, Richard H Kirk, has passed away.
“Richard was an imposing and creative genius who led a unique and motivated path throughout his life and his musical career. We will miss him so much. “
His friend and fellow band member Stephen Mallinder also paid tribute to him, adding, “I’m broken. Musical partner of My Cabs, and often sparring partner, difficult to live with but impossible not to love.
“Stubborn, not at all foolish, but insightful, spontaneous and with a vision… and under the bristling shell of a warm heart. I am truly devastated. RIP Kirky.
Here’s everything you need to know about Richard H Kirk.
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Kirk was a Sheffield-born electronic dance musician who released music under 40 different pseudonyms.
He has played guitar, keyboard, saxophone, clarinet, electronics and sampler.
It was he and his compatriot from Sheffield, Chris Watson, who formed the group Cabaret Voltaire in 1973, after trying to make music without using instruments.
They experimented with different electronic devices, inspired by tech specialist Brian Eno, member of the Roxy Music group.
The group influenced the techno, electronic and dance music movement. Kirk released his first album as a solo artist in 1980 titled Disposable Half-Truths and continued to carve out a solo career alongside the band until they broke up in 1994.
During the 90s Kirk’s solo career grew significantly and he went on to release several types of electronic dance music under 40 aliases including: Agents With False Memories, Sweet Exorcist, Anarchia, Biochemical Dread, and Electronic Eye.
He reunited the group in 2008 as the only remaining member and released a number of new albums.
During his solo career following the split from Cabaret Voltaire, Mr. Kirk has performed under many different names and aliases.
Agents With False Memories Al Jabr Anarchia Biochemical Dread Blacworld Chemical Agent Citrus Cold Warrior Countzero Dark Magus Destructive Impact Dr. Xavier Electronic Eye Extended Family Frightgod Future Cop Movies Harold Sandoz International Organization King Of Kings Multiple Transmission Nine Miles Dub Nitrogen Orchestra Terrestrial Outland Assassin Papadoctrine Pat Riot Port-au-Prince PSI Punky Dread Allstars Reflexiv The Revolutionary Army Robots + Humanoids Sandoz Signals Intelligence The Silent Age Sweet Exorcist Trafficante Ubermenschlich Ubu Rahmen Wicky Wacky Vasco de Mento
Mr Kirk’s cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Richard H Kirk’s story in Sheffield
Cabaret Voltaire pioneered EDM in the 1970s and 1980s, due to their then unusual use of synthesizers and tape loops.
They chose to bear the name of the Zurich nightclub which was the cradle of the Dada artistic movement.
The band toured in many places but stayed true to their Sheffield roots and performed concerts in the city often.
They performed at the University of Sheffield in February 1981.
Sheffield Recording Studio
Western Works, on Portobello Street, was the recording studio that made a major contribution to the city’s rich musical history.
From 1978 Cabaret Voltaire rented rooms on the top floor of Western Works, paving the way for other large groups like New Order to make the most of the impressive facilities.
However, the building was demolished in 1993 and now has a very different use – as the headquarters of IT and the School of Health and related research departments at the University of Sheffield.
Cabaret Voltaire singer Stephen Mallinder returned to the site for a very special evening in 2014, which celebrated the history of Western Works. He performed with the members of Clock DVA and In The Nursery in the new group IBBERSON.
Well-known Sheffield artist Pete McKee is one of those who posted a touching tribute to Mr Kirk online.
He wrote: “Sad to hear of the loss of a son from Sheffield. Richard H Kirk was a true pioneer of the Sheffield music scene. The Cabs paved the way for the electronic music explosion in the UK. Rest in love.
808 State, Manchester’s 1980s EDM group, also paid tribute on Twitter.
They wrote: “Sad news here of the passing of Richard H Kirk. One of the British electronics dads – The DIY approach to cabs was one of the first inspirations of what to do with synths in cars. ’70s, then the ease with which he entered’ 90s club culture without having to change his game much.
Smiths musician and co-composer Johnny Marr dedicated a special rendition of There is a Light that Never Goes Out to Richard H Kirk on stage last night.