AS UNEXPECTED developments in the world of eerie electronica go, the announcement of a new album for winter 2020 by Sheffield game-changers Cabaret Voltaire has to be up there. 

And it’s true: with Richard H Kirk the sole remaining member, the Cabs have announced that Mute will be releasing Shadow Of Fear on November 20th.

And Richard has released a teaser track below, in the shape of “Vasto”. Take a listen on our YouTube embed.

It embraces the hypnotic qualities of the 21st-century dancefloor, over towards the abrasive electro end of current thinking; but loses precisely none of that Sheffield-steel foreboding in its abandoned factory atmospheres. A wordless vocal sample and an industrial guitar riff propel it deeper into the twilight.

“The album was finished just as all the weirdness was starting to kick in,” Kirk says. “Shadow Of Fear feels like a strangely appropriate title. 

“The current situation didn’t have much of an influence on what I was doing – all the vocal content was already in place before the panic set in – but maybe due to my nature of being a bit paranoid there are hints in there about stuff going a bit weird and capturing the current state of affairs.

“The mission statement from the off was no nostalgia. Normal rules do not apply. Something for the 21st century. No old material.”

Originally conceived of as a digital production, a computer failure led Richard back to his tried and tested methods of sonic creativity. He returned to his faithful analogue set-up. “Making this album reminded me a bit of the old days with Cabaret Voltaire because there wasn’t that much equipment, so you really had to use your imagination,” he says.

But this album isn’t intended as a retread: there’s to be no harking back. “It’s nice that people appreciate what you’ve done in the past,” says Kirk. “But it’s a dangerous place to dwell.” 

Cabaret Voltaire’s Shadow Of Fear will be released by Mute on digital, cassette, CD and purple vinyl on November 20th; there’s also a variety of merch bundles for your delectation. Place your order here.