Richard H. Kirk, from the pioneering Cabaret Voltaire, has tragically passed away aged 65.
Kirk was the sole remaining founding member of the Sheffield band who helped spark industrial electronic music into life in Britain in the ’70s. He formed the band with Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson in 1973 before the latter left in 1981.
Voltaire then split in 1994, and 20 years later, Kirk revived the group with a live appearance at Berlin Atonal in 2014, featuring him as the only original member left. After the band parted ways, Kirk decided to explore different areas of electronic music under different pseudonyms and remained active.
They inspired groups like New Order, Bauhaus, and Depeche Mode, with Bernard Sumner once stating, the band made him realise it was possible to “make music without guitars”.
A statement from Kirk’s label Mute reads, “It is with great sadness that we confirm our great and dear friend, Richard H. Kirk has passed away. Richard was a towering creative genius who led a singular and driven path throughout his life and musical career. We will miss him so much.”
Last year, Cabaret Voltaire released their first album in 26 years, Shadow of Fear. A cause of death is yet to be revealed.
See the tributes below.