Old, teeth doubtfully his own, sitting alone in the corner in his tired clothes, the flat dregs of a stale pint on the table before him. When he opens his mouth a soft burr of exertion forms across his features, as if the words of the ballad he’s tunelessly attempting to sing have to be dredged from a long-submerged era. Nobody appears to register his performance, and as his lips move the ill-formed lyrics – something from a far-away perhaps, fermented in cheap and useless sentimentality – they hedge towards the wash of ambient sound elsewhere in the bar, and there, upon the sticky, well-worn carpet, they fall, discarded.
Below the words: Hamburg’s Xmal Deutschland. Because certain bands deserved to be far bigger than any deemings from the decadent cabal of record gods who operate the joint. Four albums, two of which released on 4AD, there’s was a rich and feisty sound. Dark contours but never overly so – the soundtrack to back-combed locks before the snakebite and black. The playlist from a thousand university halls of residence, back in a long-submerged era (or the 1980’s, as it’s also known).
Xmal Deutschland / Mondlicht
Xmal Deutschland / Matador