- 12" - Purple Vinyl
- Standard CD
“Gothics” – a time before the word goth had even taken shape – believed in the do-it-yourself punk ethos that anyone could pick up an instrument. Gray clouds were starting to form and in the unlikely city of Hamburg, a brazen and haunting gang of five women formed Xmal Deutschland. As any true punk would, Xmal Deutschland’s members Caro May, Rita Simon, Manuela Rickers, Fiona Sangster and Anja Huwe, started the band despite any previous musical experience.
The “Schwarze Welt” seven-inch was released on the local punk label, ZickZack, in 1981 and introduced the band as an unsettling swarm of intensity. There’s an urgency in its repetitive dirge, a swirling mania that persists on the b-side with “Die Wolken” and “Großstadtindianer” whose crude synthesizer noises escalate in tension. Most of all, Huwe’s uniquely venomous German vocals quickly became embedded in the unbridled and burgeoning scene of glamorous gloom.
Punk’s independence from the stiff grip of tradition allowed the band to find solace in anti-establishment art and music, far from the conventions of the past. With their peacocked hair and thick kohl-lined eyes, Xmal Deutschland’s music retained both a restlessness and delicacy, transcending any confines of the “Neue Deutsche Welle” movement (much like their colleagues and friends DAF and Einstürzende Neubauten) with the release of the “Incubus Succubus” single in 1982. It instantly became a post-punk classic. The guitar’s buzz ransacks through the melody as the ghoulish primitiveness of Huwe’s voice teases that maybe, just maybe, she is the nightmarish creature of which to be aware. The b-sides, “Zu Jung Zu Alt” and “Blut Ist Liebe,” keep strict militaristic dance beats as they teem in agitation.
That same year, the band performed in London as support for the Cocteau Twins; it was the platform they needed to ricochet into the arms of the ripped fishnet masses. Early Singles (1981-1982), is a map of the foundational movements of Xmal Deutschland, just seconds before takeoff. Bonus tracks on the compilation, “Kaellbermarsch” and a gritty live version of “Allein,” further accentuate their fusion of toughness with the quixotic decadence of atmospheric synthesizers. The band’s pursuit of something greater is palpable with this release, a reflection of a time that introduced accessibility to new means of making music following the onset of punk.
Early Singles (1981-1982) – Xmal Deutschland has been added to your bag.