Richard H Kirk, founder and last remaining member of influential British electronic band Cabaret Voltaire, has died at the age of 65.
Kirk formed Cabaret Voltaire with Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson in Sheffield in 1973. Their early work saw them experimenting with DIY electronics and tape loops, and they were a big influence on other electronic-focused Sheffield bands such as The Human League and Heaven 17.
Cabaret Voltaire are also seen as pioneers of the industrial scene, and helped to influence the industrial techno movement of the ‘90s.
Artists and record labels associated with Cabaret Voltaire have been paying tribute to Kirk on social media.
It is with great sadness that we confirm our great & 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. We will miss him so much.We ask that his family are given space. pic.twitter.com/Ok8u3dNx3TSeptember 21, 2021
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. pic.twitter.com/TxWXE99wSySeptember 21, 2021
Sad news to here of the passing of Richard H Kirk .One one the UK Daddy's of electronica -The cabs DIY approach was an early inspiration of what to do with synths in the 70s , then the ease at which he entered into the 90s club culture with out having to change his game much. https://t.co/9iAjhd4JoISeptember 21, 2021
All of us at Warp are very sad to receive the news that Richard H Kirk has passed away.Cabaret Voltaire, Western Works, one half of Sweet Exorcist, Virtual State, The Number Of Magic: a hugely influential figure in the label's history who will be much missed. pic.twitter.com/LKG2IL7TfUSeptember 21, 2021
So sorry to hear about Richard. He was a massive influence on our musical lives, both listening and playing but more that we became friends in the 90’s.(RIP : Richard H Kirk) pic.twitter.com/7c5CcHBIxDSeptember 21, 2021
Late 70s/80s formed my aesthetic and sense of self, and Cabaret Voltaire were critical. They implied a new way of making music -- of living -- that jettisoned accumulated stylistic, normative trash. I was rapt and intoxicated. Requiescat Richard H Kirk. https://t.co/MlbXg1Pc4QSeptember 21, 2021
Richard H Kirk from Cabaret Voltaire has died. Very sad that one of the true pioneers of British electronic music has passed away. pic.twitter.com/kpeQMEnv01September 21, 2021