Cabaret Voltaire were a pioneering British industrial group that made music from tape loops and experimental electronics rather than guitars, thus helping to bring in the whole future of electronic dance music. They were one of the best of the many groups which exploded from Sheffield in the early eighties.
Whilst referncing Dadaism in their name, Cabaret Voltaire's musical influences came from German electronic/experimental groups such as Kraftwerk, Can, and Neu!; sixties garage bands like The Seeds, as well as avant gardists such as Karheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, and Pierre Henry. As punk came about, a new generation of groups would start to merge these avant garde muiscal sound ideas with the DIY attitudes of punk.
Cabaret Voltaire were one of the forst groups to record for the fledgling Rough Trade record label. This label came out of a record shop of the same name, and would later also be the name of an independent distribution company. The band also recorded for other like-minded record labels such as Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records, and Belgium's Les Disques Du Crepuscule, and even appeared on the first ever release on the cult Factory label alongside Joy Division.
Cabaret Voltaire continued to make experiental electronic music throughout their long career, which took them from making undergound tape experiments in their bedrooms to singing with major record labels and appearing on Top of the Pops. With tape loops, digital technology and synthesizer they would move in and out of industrial music, post punk dance music, pop, and experimental sounds with ease.