Xmal Deutschland (pronounced: ixmal doytschland) was a musical group
from Hamburg, Germany. Founded in 1980 as an all-girl band, they became
successful outside their native country. Vocalist Anja Huwe was often
compared to contemporaries like Siouxsie Sioux (Siouxsie & the
Bass - Wolfgang Ellerbrock
Guitar - Manuela Rickers
Drums - Peter Bellendir
Keyboards - Fiona Sangster
Vocals - Anja Huwe
Biography (From Wikipedia)
Xmal Deutschland (often written as X-Mal Deutschland) was formed in
1980 by Anja Huwe (vocals), Manuela Rickers (guitar), Fiona Sangster
(keyboards), Rita Simon (bass guitar) and Caro May (drums) in Hamburg,
Germany. Their first single, "Großstadtindianer" was released a year
later on Alfred Hilsberg’s ZickZack label. The band also contributed
the to the label compilation Lieber Zuviel Als Zuwenig (ZZ 45). Around
this time Rita Simon was replaced by Wolfgang Ellerbrock.
In 1982 the band released the Goth classic "Incubus Succubus". Drummer
Caro May left the band and formed a new band, and the vacant drummer
position was filled by Manuela Zwingmann the same year. While German
audiences were less than receptive at first, a United Kingdom tour
opening for the Cocteau Twins resulted in a label deal with independent
label 4AD Records. Their debut album, Fetisch and the singles "Qual"
and "Incubus Succubus II" were released in 1983, all 3 making the UK
Independent charts, even though the band used German lyrics.
Manuela Zwingmann left the band after one year, being replaced by Peter
Bellendir. This lineup, Huwe/Rickers/Sangster/Ellerbrock/Bellendir
proved to be the longest running. 1984 saw the release of the single
"Reigen" and the album Tocsin, followed by a world tour through 1985.
The Sequenz EP was essentially a remake of a John Peel session, which
had been originally recorded April 30, 1985, and was broadcast May 13,
1985. The EP contained the tracks Jahr Um Jahr II, Autumn (the band’s
first English lyrics, apart from brief snatches of English that
appeared in Qual, Young Man and Tag für Tag) and Polarlicht but omitted
Der Wind, which was played at the Peel sessions.
1986 saw the release of Matador, produced by Hugh Cornwell of The
Stranglers. Xmal Deutschland also opened for The Stranglers at a
concert at Wembley Arena in London. Their follow-up album, Viva was
recorded in Hamburg and was released in 1987, followed by the single
"Sickle Moon". Viva contains a large number of English lyrics, among
others a poem by Emily Dickinson. It was during this time that the band
were interviewed by Jamie Meakes for the infamous underground Goth
Fanzine 'House Of Dolls'.
After the release of Viva, Manuela Rickers, Fiona Sangster and Peter
Bellendir left the group. Anja Huwe and Wolfgang Ellerbrock continue to
work with Frank Z. (Abwärts) on guitar. Producer Henry Staroste played
keyboards, and German studio drummer Curt Cress completed the line-up
that would record the 1989 LP Devils and the singles "Dreamhouse" and
"I’ll be near you". This also proved to be the last release of Xmal
Deutschland, showing a change of direction towards mainstream pop. 1990
saw a few scattered live appearances by the group, but eventually the
group split up.