Richard H. Kirk makes aggressive industrial pop, and he's had a lot of experience at it: back in the '70s, he tried his hand as part of industrial mavericks Cabaret Voltaire, and his early material as an artist in his own right was well loved by the one and only Throbbing Gristle, who decided to release him on their own label. 'Never Lose Your Shadow' is a clinical work, an EP full of detached synthwork and Kirk's stark, isolated vocals. The tracks on offer sound delightfully dated, painting a picture of Kirk making music in the late '80s. It's the first time on vinyl for 'Never Lose Your Shadow'.
Vinyl 12" £17.49 MW055
Ltd 4-track 12" EP on Minimal Wave. Edition of 999 hand-numbered copies, GREY WAX!.
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- Never Lose Your Shadow by Richard H. Kirk
"He's a bit moody" quips Robin as he dips into my first play of Minimal Wave's recent collection of late 70s/early 80s Richard H. Kirk tunes, and judging by that killer scowl on the cover, I'd have to agree. The label have managed to round up some pioneering industrial-tinged darkwave plodders from the Cabaret Voltaire mainstay during a peak period of sonic exploration into the relatively new worlds of drum machines and messed-up samples. So industrial, in fact, that they've pressed this onto grey vinyl. Grey for metal. Metal. Industry.
The minimal 'Never Lose Your Shadow' carries a much-imitated kick drum and bass pattern smattered with a monotone voice declaring "blind leading the blind" so frequently that the iiind syllable becomes an essential part of the groove. Its hypnotic slow pound is such a vivid snapshot of the time that it's kind of freaky, making Kirk's cover expression a lot more logical. Some essential no wave electro stuff here that unfortunately the rest of the record doesn't stand up to. Public Fun is stifled a little too early to really bloom, and L.D. 60 becomes very messy very quickly. Perhaps it's one of those 'it was great at the time' moments, but as a statement it resides solely in the context of the late 70s "eff this" movement. But ultimately if you're interested in this, you'll be looking at it for that title track anyway, with the rest serving as completionist's curiosities.
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