Reason #279: Micro-Phonies

CABI first heard Sensoria in a little underground dance club in the mid-’80’s called Matches. I think it was located in Mississauga, Ontario (a few dozen kilometers from Toronto). The place served alcohol so we all had our fake ID’s with us, and if memory serves we all got in without any issues or hassles. Anyway, this place played mostly British imports with a strong focus on alternative dance, stuff like Ministry, early DM and PSB, Sisters Of Mercy, Bauhaus (and Tones On Tail and Love and Rockets), etc. Believe me when I say that the music was edgy and foreign and exciting as hell, even if a large portion of this dance stuff might seem a little outdated by today’s standards.

Sensoria, by Cabaret Voltaire, was a standout amongst standouts. It was LOUD, the bass and drums(machine) were relentless in their syncopation, the singer sounded sinister and and the synthesizer line STILL sounds fantastically ahead of its time. It was/is a behemoth of a song and has retained much of it’s appeal to me over the years. It was, I believe, the first time I was introduced to the production of Flood, although I could be wrong about that. Of course I went out and bought the parent album, and this was yet another perfect example of cover art perfectly matching and mirroring the content within. James Brown was the other ‘hit’, but most of the album retained the energy and creativity of those two numbers, laying the groundwork, for good and bad, for many industrial bands that would come soon thereafter.

I would of course discover much later that the band started out playing more controversial avant guard music, and this period of Cabaret Voltaire is even derided in some circles, but no matter. It’s still worth it on the merits of Sensoria alone!

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