Richard Harold Kirk
|Also known as||Electronic Eye, Sandoz, Trafficante|
|Born||21 March 1956|
|Origin||Sheffield, Yorkshire, England|
|Died||21 September 2021|
|Genres||Electronic, industrial, techno|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, producer, musician|
|Instrument(s)||Electronics, sampler, keyboards, guitar, saxophone, clarinet|
|Labels||Industrial, Doublevision, Rough Trade, Warp, Touch, Beyond, Alphaphone, Blast First, Intone, Mute/EMI|
|Formerly of||Cabaret Voltaire, Sweet Exorcist|
Richard Harold Kirk (21 March 1956 – 21 September 2021) was an English musician who specialised in electronic music. His career began as a co-founder of the influential industrial music band Cabaret Voltaire, formed in 1973. He subsequently released projects under his own name and a number of aliases, and was a member of various groups such as Sweet Exorcist. Kirk was considered a major figure in the creation of industrial music.
Kirk was born on March 21, 1956, and grew up in Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England, where he lived his whole life. He attended the Psalter Lane School Of Art, where he completed a one-year program in sculpture and met Peter Care, who would later direct several Cabaret Voltaire videos.
“When we started, we wanted to do something with sound, but none of us knew how to play an instrument,” Kirk told the New York Times. “So we started using tape recorders and various pieces of junk and gradually learned to play instruments like guitars and bass.” Kirk's father, a ham radio operator, also helped spark Kirk's interest in electronics. He cited a wide range of musicians, including Stockhausen, John Cage and Fela Kuti, as inspiring his work.
Kirk's first release as a solo artist, Disposable Half-Truths, was released in 1980 and he maintained a career as a solo artist alongside Cabaret Voltaire until the band's dissolution in 1994. He reformed the band in 2014 as the sole remaining member, performing sporadically with all-new material more akin to his solo work than the output of the original incarnation of Cabaret Voltaire.
Kirk released much of his music on his own labels, including Intone, which he founded in 2003.
During the 1990s, his solo output increased considerably. Kirk's works explored multiple types of electronic/dance music under many pseudonyms. His prolific work resulted in AllMusic calling him contemporary techno's busiest man.
Kirk died on 21 September 2021, at the age of 65.
In addition to solo releases under his own name, Kirk used the following aliases:
- Agents with False Memories
- Al Jabr
- Biochemical Dread
- Chemical Agent
- Cold Warrior
- Dark Magus
- Destructive Impact
- DR Xavier
- Electronic Eye
- Extended Family
- Future Cop Movies
- Harold Sandoz
- International Organisation
- King of Kings
- Multiple Transmission
- Nine Miles Dub
- Orchestra Terrestrial
- Outland Assassin
- Pat Riot
- PSI Punky Dread Allstars
- The Revolutionary Army
- Robots + Humanoids
- Signals Intelligence
- The Silent Age
- Ubu Rahmen
- Wicky Wacky
- Vasco de Mento
The following is a list of groups and artists Kirk has worked with:
- Acid Horse
- Cabaret Voltaire
- Peter Hope
- The Pressure Company
- Sweet Exorcist
- The Tivoli
- Disposable Half-Truths (1980, Industrial)
- Time High Fiction (1983, Doublevision)
- Black Jesus Voice (1986, Rough Trade)
- Ugly Spirit (1986, Rough Trade)
- Hoodoo Talk (with Peter Hope) (1988, Wax Trax!)
- Virtual State (1993, Warp)
- The Number of Magic (1995, Warp)
- Agents with false memories (1996, Ash International)
- Knowledge Through Science (1998, Blast First)
- Darkness At Noon (1999, Touch)
- LoopStatic (Amine ß Ring Modulations) (2000, Touch)
- TWAT v4.0: The War Against Terror (2003, Intone)
- Earlier/Later—Unreleased Projects Anthology ’74–’89 (2004, Mute/EMI)
- Richard H. Kirk Meets the Truck Bombers of Suburbia Uptown Vol. 1 (Feat. Pat Riot) (2004, Intone)
- Sonic Reflections (Unreleased Soundtrack Project 1994) (2009, Intone)
- Reality Is Opposite (2011, Intone)
- Anonymized (2011, Intone)
- Dasein (2017, Intone)
- Digital Lifeforms (1993, Touch)
- Intensely Radioactive (1994, Touch)
- Every Man Got Dreaming (1995, Touch)
- Dark Continent (1996, Touch)
- God Bless the Conspiracy (1997, Alphaphone)
- In Dub: Chant to Jah (1998, Touch; 2002, Soul Jazz)
- Afrocentris (2001, Intone)
- Live in the Earth: Sandoz in Dub Chapter 2 (2006, Soul Jazz)
- Acid Editions (303 Excursions) (2009, Intone)
- Digital Life Time (2012, Intone)
As Electronic Eye
- Closed Circuit (1994, Beyond)
- The Idea of Justice (1995, Beyond)
- Neurometrik (2000, Alphaphone)
- Autoshark (2006, Intone)
- "Leather Hands" (with Peter Hope)
- "Surgeons" (with Peter Hope)
- Smith, Steve (2 October 2021). "Richard H. Kirk, Post-Punk Pioneer of Industrial Music, Dies at 65". NY Times. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
- "Cabaret Voltaire's Richard H Kirk dies aged 65". BBC News. 21 September 2021. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
- Smith, Steve (2 October 2021). "Richard H. Kirk, Post-Punk Pioneer of Industrial Music, Dies at 65". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
- Muggs, Joe (21 September 2021). "Richard H Kirk was prolific, hungry, angry and funky to the end". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
- Wilson, Alex (31 October 2016). SIF and the emergence of independent film and video in Sheffield (masters thesis). Sheffield Hallam University.
- Fact (10 October 2011). "Cabaret Voltaire: Johnny YesNo revisited". Fact Magazine. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 218. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
- "Richard Kirk: Cabaret Voltaire Electronica". www.soundonsound.com. Retrieved 12 May 2022.
- Certificate of Incorporation of a Private Limited Company for Intone Communications Limited 
- Sean Cooper (21 March 1956). "Richard H. Kirk | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
- Sam Moore (21 September 2021). "Richard H Kirk death: Cabaret Voltaire musician dies aged 65". The Independent. Retrieved 13 May 2022.
- "Richard H. Kirk". Discogs. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
- "Richard H. Kirk - Reality Is Opposite (File, Album)". Discogs.com. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2017.