Yesterday, April 11 of this 2023, Xmal Deutschland’s first album turned 30 and even though it’s part of the ‘expert review’ gong fetish for reasons that only anyone who has never thrown themselves drugged into a wall to the sound of “Hand in hand” can know, it is still my favorite from the band of the eternal goth muse Anja Huwe. I was going to write about that one, but I hadn’t listened to Xmal for a while and I went to listen, then I ended up on “Incubus succubus” and, well, here we are.

One of these times I’ll come back here and write about the fetish debut of the girls from Hamburg, but today I go back another year in time, straight to 1982, when the quintet released it on the Zickzack label (owned by Sounds magazine journalist Alfred Hilsberg, who also put it on world, among other things, Collapse, from Neubauten) their debut EP. And it is precisely because of this EP that I write this short text.

As much as other bands of this post-punk crop have debuted with large full albums – Siouxsie, Sound, Bauhaus, Joy Division e Cureto stay with the obvious examples -, none of them started their career with a 12″ that would bring not only their biggest success but also one of the most badass things IN THE ENTIRE dark SCENE.

The version that plays right below is the first and original version of the album (mixed by Frank Ziegert), rawer and dirtier than the one released by Ivo Russell, who must have been on all fours for the song and decided to call Xmal pro cast from 4AD, where did they release the fetish and the one that is considered his great classic, Tocsin, where there is yet another re-edition of “Incubus succubus”, named “Incubus succubus II” and immortalized on the walls of hellholes ever since. But that’s all history for another day.

Listen on the stalk! 🦇

PS: Before some goth more goth than all goths warn you, yes I know that before this EP Xmal had released a single. Thank you and go wash some dishes.


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