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MALARIA! (Buy CDs by this artist)
White Water EP (Bel. Crépuscule) 1981
Emotion (Bel. Crépuscule) 1982
New York Passage EP (Cachalot) 1982
... Revisited [tape] (ROIR) 1983
Beat the Distance (Ger. Rebel) 1985

Aggressively noisy and discordant, these five female Berliners manage to make a surprisingly tedious, uninvolving racket — it's not even repulsive, just numbing. All in the name of art, mind you. And the problem on White Water isn't their German lyrics — they sound the same on the English side of New York Passage, recorded in NYC.

Emotion, the band's sole studio album, is far better organized and nearly acceptable, in a rugged, dissonant kind of way. The music is a varied mass of synthesizers, rhythms and sound effects; the German and English lyrics — blurted, chanted and yelled — confront such generalities as money, jealousy, power, death and passion. A virtual philosophy course on vinyl. Not easy listening, but powerful medicine with real impact.

Revisited — a live tape recorded in 1983 at two American club dates — suffers from indistinct sound and a loose sense of rhythm. (The vocals alternate languages, but that hardly matters.) Nonetheless, the relentless drive has an incantatory power, and other bands certainly have made far more horrific and less organized noise.

[Jim Green/Ira Robbins]