Berlin’s groundbreaking punk madams are subject of a necessary archive deep dive, reappraising a glut of killer live room recordings and demos from their seminal early years at the crux of the city’s scuzzy wave scene.
Part of 40th anniversary commemorations, this is the 2nd part of ‘M_Sessions’, so named after their shared initial of three projects revolving the legendary Gudrun Gut, in various configurations; Mania D. (Gudrun with Beate Bartel, Bettina Köster, Eva-Maria Goßling), Malaria! (Gudrun beside Bettina Köster, Christine Hahn, Manon Duursma, Susanne Kuhnke), and Matador (Gudrun plus Beate bartel and Manon Duursma). Supplementing a side of reinterpretations by the likes of Lucretia Dalt, Midori Hirano and AGF, this collection turns up an abundance of previously unheard material capturing Gudrun and her cohort in their element, variously playing to crowds of post-punks, EBM pioneers and early post-industrialists in the belly of West Berlin and farther afield during the cold war years.
Frankly it’s fucking feast for fans of the era, and anyone interested in the history of female fronted bands, for that matter. The original core team of Beate Bartel, Bettina Köster, Manon P. Duursma are responsible for the selection,drawing from a wide range of aces by each unit; from the no wave skronk of ‘Zukunft (Sender Freies Berlin)’ and queasy stagger of ‘Herzschlag (7inch single, Monogram)’ by Mania D., to the gothic swagger of ‘White Sky White Sea (EDIT, Weisses Wasser EP) and the cranky death rock of ‘Mädels Sind Toll (Live Berlin)’ by Malaria!, and some real gems from the later Matador years, includignthe creepy ‘Nite Time (A Touch BCL Album version)’, the almost Cocteau Twins-like ‘Paradise (Demo Version)’, and the late ‘80s Dome-esque machine grind of ‘Schreiender Tag.’