The worldwide electronic music community is mourning the loss of an artist whose career dates back to the ’70s. Cabaret Voltaire founding member Richard H Kirk has died at age 65.
Kirk’s passing was confirmed by Mute Records, who released a number of the band’s albums as well as the artist’s solo works. No cause of death has been disclosed at the time of writing.
“Richard was a towering creative genius who led a singular and driven path throughout his life and musical career,” reads Mute’s September 21st statement. “We will miss him so much. We ask that his family are given space at this time.”
Remembering Richard H Kirk
Richard H Kirk was born in 1956 and grew up in the east side of Sheffield in the U.K. As a young adult he became interested in dadaist art. Cabaret Voltaire themselves were named after the nightclub in which the movement is said to have originated.
Formed in 1973, the band initially explored William S Burroughs-inspired cut-up methods paired with industrial noise a la musique concréte, later breaking through with albums like Mix-Up in 1979 and Red Mecca in 1981. Then came the late ’80s acid house explosion, which caught Kirk’s attention. He enlisted Chicago house mainstay Marshall Jefferson to record the band’s 1990 album Groovy, Laidback and Nasty and began cutting dance floor-focused records via projects like Sweet Exorcist (in collaboration with Richard Barratt) and Sandoz.
After the band ceased activity in the ’90s, Richard H Kirk had resumed using its name beginning in 2014. His final release was the 2020 solo album Shadow of Fear.