Sunday, March 27, 2011

Malaria! – Compiled 1981-1984 (Moabit Musik, 1991)

She gets around the German music scene does this Gudrun Gut lass.

From being a member of the original line up of the groundbreaking and highly influential industrial outfit Einsturzende Neubauten, she moved on to Mania D before forming Malaria!, an astonishing and brilliant all-girl project who’s early works defy easy classification.

This of course raises the question; if the style of Malaria! can’t be easily defined, do they belong here at all? It’s an interesting and difficult question.

I think the answer is best served by saying that Malaria! were in no way a Goth band, but they did like to dabble in the post-punk style that would later become understood as “Goth”, and when they dabbled they did it very, very well. And to amazingly good effect on songs like "Tod / Death" and "Kalte Klares Wasser". The afterthought does occur, that if Malaria! had appeared a decade later, it's easy to imagine that they would have fallen under the Darkwave umbrella.

Tod / Death and Geld / Money appeared on the Malaria! debut full length Emotion (Moabit Musik, 1982)Most of which appears on Compiled. “Kaltes Klares Wasser” appeared on their second Malaria!_...Revisited (ROIR, 1983) and became their main hit although why they opted to wait almost a decade to release it as a single (Moabit Musik, 1991) is anyone’s guess. It didn’t hurt them though, since they got a second bite of the cherry when it was covered (albeit to vastly lesser effect) by ChiKs on Speed (Superstar Recordings, 2001).

Kalte Klares Wasser



So, let us return to the question – do they belong on here?
The easy answer is "well...not really”, At least not in any purist sense. Malaria! touched on the Goth subset rather than overlapping it, but their “dabblings” are exceptional. Then, there are also clear overlaps with fellow German artists Lene Lovich, Nena Hagen, X-Mal Deutschland and Einsturstende Neubauten (the last, perhaps inevitable). If you like these artists (and chances are if you’re reading this site, then you probably do), then Goth or not, you want this album.
That Malaria! have been lost to time is simply criminal.
Highly recommended.

Gudrun Gut went onto the band Matador and continues to run the record labels Monika Enterprise and Moabit Musik while co-hosting a weekly radio show Ocean Club in Berlin and releasing a number of albums, both solo and in collaboration with Myra Davies.

Moabit would re-release Compiled in 2001 with alternative cover art.

Track listing:
1. How Do You Like My New Dog?
2. Kaltes Klares Wasser
3. Geh Duschen
4. Zarah
5. Your Turn To Run
6. Thrash Me
7. You You
8. Dabo
9. Geld / Money
10. Leidenschaft / Passion
11. Eifersucht / Jealousy
12. Einsam / Lonesome
13. Macht / Power
14. Tod / Death
15. Mensch
16. Gewissen

Line up:
Gudrun Gut (guitar, drums, backing vocals), Bettina Koster (vocals, saxophone), Chrisine Hahn (drums, guitar, keyboards), Manon P. Duursma (guitars), Susanne Kuhnke (synthesizer).

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