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xmal deutschland earlysingles1981 1982‘Incubus Succubus’ original version & Anja Huwe brand new track ‘Pariah’, both online now - XMAL DEUTSCHLAND album ‘Early Singles 1981-1982’ & Anja Huwe debut solo album ‘Codes’, both are out March 8th on Sacred Bones

Sacred Bones are excited to share two more tracks from the parallel releases of XMAL DEUTSCHLAND’s ‘Early Singles 1981-1982’ (including two bonus tracks), and the debut solo album from XMAL DEUTSCHLAND’s inimitable front-woman Anja Huwe, ‘Codes’. Both records are set for release side-by-side on March 8th, 2024.

Following the previously shared video for XMAL DEUTSCHLAND’s ‘Allein’ and Anja Huwe’s debut solo single ‘Rabenschwarz’, today two more offerings are available to hear. First up, the original version of XMAL DEUTSCHLAND’s iconic hit ‘Incubus Succubus’. Originally released in 1982 via Zickzack, the single was part of a 12” also containing the tracks ‘Zu Jung Zu Alt’ and ‘Blut Ist Liebe’. This is the first time the original single is available digitally, having been out of print until the 12” was recently re-released (and quickly sold out) via Sacred Bones. ‘Incubus Succubus’ features on the forthcoming ‘Early Singles 1981-1982’, which also contains two bonus tracks, ‘Allein’ (from the compilation ‘Nosferatu Festival’) and ‘Kälbermarsch’ (from the compilation ‘Lieber Zuviel Als Zuwenig’).

Listen to ‘Incubus Succubus’:
‘Early Singles (1981-1982)’ pre-order links:
Watch the video for ‘Allein’ here:
Listen to ‘Rabenschwarz’ here:

Alongside ‘Incubus Succubus’ comes ‘Pariah’ - a second look at the debut solo release from XMAL DEUTSCHLAND’s incomparable front-woman, Anja Huwe. Invited by her long-time friend Mona Mur, Huwe reconsidered her decades-long hiatus from music and decided to join Mur in her studio in Berlin. Together, they worked for a year and a half, composing, performing and producing the tracks from scratch which eventually became the album ‘Codes’. The razor-sharp new single ‘Pariah’ shows the intentional interchange between languages on the record: “Since I sing multilingually, and often work with metaphors, I hope that the listener can grasp the moods without understanding them literally. I believe that voice, expression, and sound can achieve an overall atmosphere. Sometimes melancholic and blue, but also uplifting, vibrant, or subliminally aggressive.”

Listen to ‘Pariah’:
‘Codes’ pre-order links:

More about Xmal Deutschland and Anja Huwe

“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. This, alongside the bric-a-brac fashion of ADAM ANT and the long-winded atmospheric malaise of BAUHAUS’ 1979 single, ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’, grey 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 not having had any previous musical experience. When they bought studio time to record their first single, ‘Schwarze Welt’, Simon was originally slated to be the lead vocalist but failed to show on the day of recording. Huwe, who originally played bass was thrust into the front-woman position, and begrudgingly agreed: “The only condition from my side was that I will never perform onstage… Two months later, they made me without ever telling me upfront. I had no choice.”

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 synthesiser 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. “We as girls, especially being creative in many ways, ignored facts like: be nice, be polite, take good care about your looks. Of course, we wanted to look good but in a different and unconventional way. We were enough for ourselves.” However, some tropes were harder to overcome. The association of XMAL DEUTSCHLAND as a girl band (later with the addition of Wolfgang Ellerbrock who, jokingly, became the token man of the group) gained traction within the media circuit because of their looks: “We were like paradise birds,” says Huwe in retaliation to the tired misogynistic tale. The band’s keyboardist, Fiona Sangster, adds: “To be an ‘all-girl band’ happened accidentally. To us, it was not the main reason to form a band.”

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. 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. After XMAL DEUTSCHLAND’s success with four albums on cult labels such as 4AD, Huwe abandoned music to pursue her visual art career. But leaving her legacy in the past was not so easy: “Since the split in the early 1990s, I have been haunted by the ‘Legend of Xmal Deutschland’ and never-ending requests from all over the world, all of which I always turned down,” she says.

Invited by her long-time friend Mona Mur, Huwe reconsidered her decades-long hiatus from music and decided to join Mur in her studio in Berlin. Together, they worked for a year and a half, composing, performing, and producing the tracks from scratch which eventually became the album 'Codes'. Integral to the overall sound experience was the input of Manuela Rickers who added her famed signature guitar style and sound.

Initially inspired by the diary entries of Moshe Shnitzki, who, at the age of 17, left his home in 1942 to live in the cavernous White Russian forests as a partisan, ‘Codes’ is about the human experience and what extremes can do to an individual. The thematic extremities cause an erraticism to ‘Codes’ - a passing thunderstorm, a cyclonic burst of nature’s force - but one that exudes anticipation amidst the chill. With elegant production by Mur and Huwe and mixing and mastering by Jon Caffery (JOY DIVISION, GARY NUMAN, EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN) epic builds crash and disseminate, and the sleek synthesized drones of sound even feel claustrophobic at times.

XMAL DEUTSCHLAND, now marked as forerunners of the Post-Punk movement, were never complacent but consistently ravenous in their attack throughout the 1980s. Huwe’s return is no different. Unexpected but long overdue, ‘Codes’ is that missing page from post-punk’s history books, the freshly splayed paint across the decades-old canvas - it is the product of the tireless will to survive on her own terms.

Tracklist Xmal Deutschland - Early Singles 1981 – 1982
01. Schwarze Welt
02. Die Wolken
03. Grobstadtindianer
04. Kalbermarsch
05. Incubus Sucubus
06. Zu Jung Zu Alt
07. Blut ist Liebe
08. Allein

Tracklist Anja Huwe - Codes
01. Skuggornas
02. Rabenschwarz
03. Pariah
04. Exit
05. O Wald
06. Zwischenwelt
07. Sleep With One Eye Open
08. Living In The Forest
09. Hideaway /

Source: Press Release

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