An expansion of the original Three Crepuscule Tracks, Eight compiles a variety of slightly random tunes from the group's early eighties days for general consumption. The main cuts are the first, namely the three parts of "Sluggin Fer Jesus." If this cut wasn't the first attempt at what would become one of the most common and ultimately most cliched elements in eighties industrial/EBM -- a found-sound tape of an American evangelist over a dance groove -then it was close. Admittedly, at this stage Cabaret Voltaire wasn't dealing in the kinds of massive 'up yours' rhythm assaults later groups like Front 242 would perfect, but the jittery, reggae/dub-touched beats and arrangement on the first part are still fine stuff from the group. The second part starts with just the preacher (or perhaps another one) asking for yet more money, followed by instrumental snippets of the band fading up and then cutting out back into low synth/production murk. The final part, titled "Fools Game," has a heavily tweaked semi-rap and more crazed pastoral ranting floating around a combination of an older, emptier style of Cabaret Voltaire sonics and slight, but only slight, touches of the electrofunk then making waves. The remainder of the collection is a bit of a mixed bag, but still has some sharp bits. "Yashar," unexpectedly reappearing here from 2 x 45, kicks out a stiff beat and jam pretty well, while much of the latter half of the collection explores the balance between shadowy and more 'smooth' beats and production. The unexpected but still successful surprise wrapping Eight up is nothing other than a surprising faithful if still murky cover of Isaac Hayes' funk classic "Theme from 'Shaft'." Hearing Mallinder go on about the guy who's 'the sex machine to all the chicks' via vocal trickery that makes him sound like he's in a cave is amusing no matter how you slice it
This is a reincarnation of the LP "three crepescule tracks" released in the 80's. In my opinion, Cabaret Voltaire's early period recordings like this are the very best because they are slightly harsher, more disjointed, and all around more innovative and creative. The main tracks from this EP are "Sluggin Fer Jesus" parts 1 through 3. In them, a television evangelist is sampled throughout, demanding donations and raving about. Over this series of samples and loops, Cabaret Voltaire unloads some brilliant music on the listener. They use everything from distorted synths and vocoder to acoustic drums and Mallinder's bare croon. The dead on cover of The theme From "Shaft" shows how the early incarnation of this band could make anything work, it's also hilarious to hear Mallinder croon "he's a sex machine to all the chicks" through a vocoder. The remix of "Yashar" is just fantastic as well. If you like Autechre, Phoenecia, Can, or Kraftwerk, you must give this a shot. If you're new to the group I would sugguest getting "2x45" first, since it's pretty much the seminal Cabaret Voltaire album. Then get this next, then "Crackdown, then "Red Mecca"....you just might end up addicted
By the way, you can get almost everything from the early period by going to the Mute Records site.