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Cabaret Voltaire: Doublevision Presents Cabaret Voltaire

Album: Doublevision Presents Cabaret Voltaire
Label: Mute

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A treasure from the musty vaults of post-punk, Doublevision Presents Cabaret Voltaire was made in 1982 as a long-form video to accompany music by one of the movement's primary incubators. Started by Cabaret Voltaire and video artist Paul Smith, Doublevision also worked with Throbbing Gristle, Derek Jarman, The Residents, and Einsturzende Neubauten, but this is the project that started it all.

The video's makeup is simple: 14 more or less classic songs from Cabaret Voltaire's prime early years, presented amid a dense, murky collage of images and abstractions. Some of them serve as straight music videos: A great clip for "Nag, Nag, Nag" intercuts live band footage with colored overlays of static made to mimic different singed synthesizer tones. Others are more impressionistic: The arch proclamations in "This Is Entertainment" meet their visual match in words and cursor trackings made on a wonderfully archaic computer screen. There's little sense to be made from the film as a whole, but its disparate images—military marches, torture, slow-motion night drives, bugs, monkeys, faces bathed in blue—make more arresting music that continues to slither out of history with handcuffs at the ready.