Cabaret Voltaire

Chance Versus Causality

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Industrial pioneers Cabaret Voltaire created the soundtrack to Babeth Mondini's 1979 film Chance Versus Causality after meeting the director at a concert in which the trio shared a bill with Joy Division and William S. Burroughs. However, instead of providing an advance cut of the film so the band could painstakingly compose music to precisely fit each scene, Mondini simply told them to improvise in a similar manner to their concerts. No further guidelines or instructions were given, and the group had no clue what the film was about (in fact, they never saw it). The album essentially lives up to its title, with looped voices, slashing guitar feedback, and dripping drum machines appearing and disappearing seemingly at random, yet there's still at least some semblance of logical progression. The general mood is sinister and foreboding, but also quite whimsical, particularly in the artists' choice of samples, which are often absurd and humorous. The third track features a loop of a woman stating that a 12-foot-long ant held her positively transfixed, while the final track starts out with a bizarre squawking noise that could either be a baby or an animal. It seems obvious that the group was having fun coming up with weird sounds and chucking them in the mix, and it keeps the album amusing and intriguing. Even compared to other Cabaret Voltaire output from this period, this is nothing like their more punk-influenced Rough Trade releases. It's much more in the vein of what Industrial Records would release as 1974-76 (reissued by Mute in 2019, at the same time as this soundtrack) or the early experiments included on Methodology '74/'78: The Attic Tapes. Not a lost classic by any means, but still highly entertaining.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick