Cabaret has been in existence since the turn of the 20th century. It was clumped together with Burlesque and Vaudeville which were notorious for being risque back then. Sadly, these forms of musical entertainment died down when the world wars ended.
With the threat of another world war looming, the Cabaret resurfaced in the late 70’s in a different and more sinister form – Dark Cabaret. It became a sub-genre of goth music and was dabbled into by the likes of Marc Almond, The Virgin Prunes, Christian Death, Sex Gang Children, Lydia Lunch and Jill Tracy all through the 80’s and 90’s.
The present metamorphosis of Dark Cabaret is now more distinct. Led by Rasputina, The Dresden Dolls, Katzenjammer Kabarett, Revue Noir and other burgeoning artists, the cabaret has undergone a revival complete with stylized shows reminiscent of burlesque shows at the turn of the century. Characterized by low vocals and a centerpiece instrument such as a cello, piano, or violin.
Projekt Records has come up with a compilation CD in honor of Cabaret’s new era. It is a must-buy and I highly recommend it. While you’re at it, grab copies of CDs by The Dresden Dolls and Katzenjammer Kabarett and try to listen to distant echoes of the original cabaret we almost lost.