Cabaret Voltaire have announced the release of their 1979 soundtrack, Chance Versus Causality, available officially for the first time since the film’s release on August 30 via Mute. On the same day 1974-76 will get its first vinyl release. The album, originally released on cassette via Industrial Records in 1980, was reissued on CD by The Grey Area of Mute in 1992 is a selection of material recorded by Cabaret Voltaire in their formative years. Recorded in Chris Watson’s attic on a domestic reel-to-reel tape recorder, a number of the recordings were included in the now legendary limited edition cassette released by the band in 1976.
Chance Versus Causality was recorded in 1979 as the soundtrack for director Babeth Mondini’s film of the same name. The band originally met Mondini at the infamous Brussels Plan K show which saw Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire and William Burroughs share a bill, and soon after, she asked them to create the soundtrack for her film. Chance Versus Causality was improvised, in a similar vein to what the band refer to as their live “ambient sets”, described as having “less rhythm, more tape” and the soundtrack was recorded live by the original line up - Richard H. Kirk, Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson - at the band’s Western Works studio with no prior knowledge of the film, or instruction from the director.
Only one copy of the soundtrack existed, two reels of tape that were sent to Holland for inclusion in the film, a split-screen 16mm film that was given a limited release and never seen by the band. Only a section of the soundtrack had been previously available, the b-side to the ‘Silent Command’ 7” (RoughTrade004). Around 15 years ago the tapes were returned to Cabaret Voltaire, and this lost classic from the archive was placed to one side and only came up again recently during discussions with Mute. The artwork, was created with archive and found montage imagery from that period, including images projected at performances from that time, was mixed digitally by Richard H. Kirk and Phil Wolstenholme.
Live, improvised but coherent with a touch of mischief and warmth, this single piece of music is an evocative snapshot of this era of Cabaret Voltaire, just after the release of Nag, Nag, Nag and ahead of the Voice of America album release, which has strong ties with this release through the vocal samples and overall sound.
Cabaret Voltaire have been performing select festivals in recent years, and Richard H. Kirk is currently working on a new Cabaret Voltaire album.