Richard H. Kirk – ‘Never Lose Your Shadow’ EP [Minimal Wave]

You can’t go past the influence of Cabaret Voltaire on electronic music, and as such Richard H. Kirk, “the hardest working man in techno.” And while we’ve dived in and out of the group’s catalogue over the years – from the annoyance of the commercial Joy Division synths to the experimental pieces forerunning to industrial – Cabaret Voltaire has always been a project that remains best viewed as a retrospective for us, framing a period in British underground music.

Not so with the solo workings that seem to turn up new aliases of Richard H. Kirk every few months, sending us constantly in to new directions of exploring the Kirk catalogue.

Never Lose Your Shadow is one of the finest of these to date. Four tracks of experimental techno, recorded on comparatively primitive gear sometime between 1978 and 1987. The ten minute title track, which you can check out below, is a stand-out highlight. The rough acid bassline is darker than the rest of the record and also more structured, it’s one you look forward to playing out, but you’re still kept on edge with Kirk repeating ‘the blind leading the blind’ as some sort of mantra.

The other three cuts are incredible too, uniquely layered with differing amounts of noise distortion and modular computer music. Brilliant record, though limited to a mere 999 copies from the Minimal Wave label, get on it quick.

via Minimal Wave
We’re honored to present a 12” EP of tracks from the archives of Sheffield based electronic music legend Richard H. Kirk, entitled “Never Lose Your Shadow”. Kirk first came to prominence in the 1970s as a member of the seminal industrial band Cabaret Voltaire. His first release as a solo artist, Disposable Half-Truths, came out in 1980 on Throbbing Gristle’s Industrial Records label and since then he developed a solo career parallel to the band until its dissolution in 1994.

On the EP, we compile tracks originally recorded between 1978 and 1987, which have never before been released on vinyl. The title track, ‘Never Lose Your Shadow’ blurs the lines between harsh industrial, dance floor, and no wave. This is one we’ve been playing out for a while now and wondering why it hadn’t been pressed on vinyl. The other three tracks are more experimental and reference ideas Kirk was exploring in Cabaret Voltaire at the time. When asked specifically about this collection, Kirk explains that “none of the tracks were outtakes for Cabaret Voltaire, they were always solo tracks, although I think ‘Never Lose Your Shadow’ was vey much a blueprint for the material that Cabaret Voltaire recorded for Virgin / Some Bizarre between 1983-85. The minimal sequencer / drum machine lockdown that I used later for Cabaret Voltaire was pioneered on this track. Lyrically, ‘Never Lose Your Shadow’ was inspired by the 1971 speed freak road movie ‘Vanishing Point’, amongst other things.”

The EP is limited to 999 hand-numbered copies, the first 500 are pressed on solid grey vinyl and the remainder on black.