Monday, February 8, 2016

Cabaret Voltaire: Walls of Kyoto (Live 1982)


This is it... this is the song that got me into Cabaret Voltaire back in the early 90s.

At the time, I was into bands like Ministry, Front 242, and had just gotten into Front Line Assembly.  I first learned of Cabaret Voltaire while reading the FAQ for the Usenet newsgroup rec.music.industrial, where they were mentioned as pioneers of the genre a number of times.  Ever curious, I embarked on a fruitless search for their CDs at the local music shops.  Nobody had ever heard of them, and, by chance, I found a copy of their live album, Hai!, for 99 cents in the HMV bargain bin.

I got it home, popped it into my Commodore CDTV, and gave it a listen.  My first impression was not a favourable one... in fact, I think my exact words were "What the fuck is this?  This sucks!"

I remember thinking how absolutely grating Walls of Kyoto was, and how it took effort to listen to the tune.  But one day a week later, I found myself in a weird mood, so I decided to expend the effort.

I was on the CDTV, checking my messages on a local BBS, and I was taking a lot longer than normal.  So much longer, that the Ramones CD I was listening to in CDTVPlayer had ended.  I grabbed Hai! and decided to give it another chance.

I let the CD run without actively listening to it... it was, after all, meant to be background noise as I went BBSing.  I let the CD run its course and thought "Well, that wasn't too bad...".

The next day, I listened to the CD again while on my daily pilgrimage to our local 7-Eleven, and found myself enjoying the music.  The CD soon made it into my regular rotation, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I still listen to the album on my iPhone once in a while.