Malaria!

Manon Duursma, Susanne Kuhnke, Bettina Köster, Gudrun Gut und Christine Hahn von der Band "Malaria!", New York 1981

Foto: © Edo Bertoglio

Berlin! My first introduction, besides old movies, was in 1979 when I toured with The Static alongside fellow band members Glenn Branca and Barbara Ess. We traveled from our home in NYC to play several venues in Europe, and Berlin was the last stop. We had just arrived from Cologne, where we landed right in the middle of carnival and played a crazy gig at Ratinger Hof with Gerhard Richter and Robert Görl in attendance. The S.O.36 concert in Berlin a couple of days later was pretty crazy as well. The audience was extreme and intense, totally in sync with the music we were making. By contrast, NYC crowds were quiet and cool, which made the vibe even more electrifying. I really loved it. It was there I first met artist Martin Kippenberger, who was also one of the owners of the S.O.36. After the concert, Kippenberger and I taxied to a little bar where we played cards, drank Halb und Halb, and talked about art and music into the wee hours. I barely made the morning train with the band to leave Berlin behind. Kippenberger and I stayed in contact and decided to collaborate on a couple of projects. First he came to New York where we did some loose street and music recordings and where I introduced him to downtown artists and musicians I knew from the No Wave scene including filmmaker Eric Mitchell. Next, Kippenberger flew me to Berlin, where he introduced me to many of his artist friends and where we worked on a magazine issue together. The result of our collaboration was "Sehr Gut/Very Good" magazine and the Luxus record and posters. Later on that year, I met Gudrun Gut when she came to see a performance of The Static with dancers Eiko and Koma. She was in town to check out some of the New York bands, clubs, and galleries. we hung out a bit after the gig and hit it off. After The Static broke up I was in a couple of groups, one with Margaret DeWys from Theoretical Girls and another with Kim Gordon. Both were great but they didn't progress too far for various reasons. So I decided to go back to Berlin to do a recording project with drummer/composer Klaus Krüger, who had recently left Iggy Pop's band. He and I were staying in Spandauat Christoph Franke's studio. Klaus was also working as an engineer in the studio while Franke was away in LA doing a movie soundtrack. One day, Gudrun showed up with Bettina Köster - surprise! They had booked the studio to record an EP, titled "Malaria!". It was great watching them improvise and create tracks on the fly. They asked if I'd like to do something on one of the songs, so I played guitar on a piece called "Laufen". Later, Bettina invited me to join the new band they were starting. Malaria's first rehearsals were at the Film and TV Academy where Susanne Hossbach's boyfriend, Christoph Dreher, was a film student. Susanne played Moog Prodigy , Manon Duursma guitar, Bettina vocals and sax, Gudrun and I both played drums, sometimes together and sometimes trading off onto bass, guitar and keyboard. That was the beginning of it. We all worked amazingly well together and somehow the combination of us created a unique, powerful sound and stage presence. Malaria! became a success and we had many great adventures during the years we were on the road together - recording, traveling, playing clubs in Europe and the US along with some of the top indie music artists of the period. It's too bad that good things come to an end, and eventually Malaria! did. We intended to keep going, and somehow it didn't happen. But, we have all stayed in touch and done various projects both apart and together over the years including reissuing the Malaria! catalogue of music on vinyl last year. Strong bonds aren't easily broken. And all of us have really amazing stories and memories about those times, which began in Berlin.

© Christine Hahn, 2021

M_DOKUMENTE. All about MANIA D., MALARIA!, MATADOR

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Moog Prodigy, der von Susanne Kuhnke zwischen 1981 und 1984 bei der Band Malaria! gespielt wurde, Berlin 2021

© Susanne Kuhnke

Manon Duursma, Gudrun Gut, Christine Hahn, Susanne Kuhnke und Bettina Köster von der Band Malaria! bei einem Konzert in der Music Hall, unterstützt von Tracy Pew und Nick Cave, Berlin 1982

© Horst Blohm

Flyer für ein Konzert von Malaria! im New Yorker Club "Jackie 60", New York 1981

© Jackie 60 Club

Schulheft von Manon Duursma mit Songtexten von Malaria!, Berlin 1981

© Manon Duursma

Textblatt für den Malaria!-Song "Kämpfen und Siegen", Berlin 1981

© Bettina Köster/Gudrun Gut

Backstage-Pass von Gudrun Gut, London 1983

© Gudrun Gut

Nachricht von Bettina Köster an Gudrun Gut, Berlin 1981

© Bettina Köster

Flyer für ein Konzert von Malaria! im Club "The Asylum", Nottingham 1983

© The Asylum / courtesy of Beate Bartel

Reprovorlage für ein Malaria!-Plakat, Berlin 1981

© Malaria!

Malaria!-Werbeflyer, Berlin 1981

© Malaria!

Flyer für ein Konzert von Malaria! im Club "Barracuda", London 1981

© Barracuda / courtesy of Manon Duursma

Flyer mit Songtexten, Berlin 1981/82

© Malaria!

Flyer mit Songtexten, Berlin 1981/82

© Malaria!

Werbeflyer für die erste Maxisingle von Malaria!, Berlin 1981

© Bettina Köster / Gudrun Gut

Setliste für das Malaria!-Konzert im Club "The Asylum", Nottingham 1983

© The Asylum / courtesy of Beate Bartel

Programmflyer des Clubs "Danceteria", New York 1983

© Danceteria / courtesy of Beate Bartel

Werbepostkarte für ein Konzert von Malaria!, Die Ich's, Le Sangue Froid und Die Tödliche Doris im S.O.36, Berlin 1981

© courtesy of Gudrun Gut

Malaria! mit Nina Hagen im Studio 54, v.l.n.r.: Christine Hahn, Karl Rucker, Nina Hagen, Susanne Kuhnke, Gudrun Gut, Manon P Duursma und Bettina Köster, New York 1981

© courtesy of Manon P Duursma

Tourplan von Malaria!, Berlin 1981

© Manon P Duursma

Notizen von Manon P Duursma bezüglich Malaria!, Berlin 1981

© Manon P Duursma

Songtext, der von Manon P Duursma notiert wurde, Berlin 1981

© Manon P Duursma

Malaria! im Studio 54, v.l.n.r.: Manon P Duursma, Bettina Köster, Gudrun Gut, Christine Hahn und Susanne Kuhnke, New York 1981

© courtesy of Manon P Duursma

Backstage-Pass für die Documenta 7, Kassel 1982

© courtesy of Gudrun Gut

Flyer für ein Konzert von Malaria! und Die Unbekannten im "Jara", Dortmund 1982

© courtesy of Manon P Duursma

Video-Kassetten mit Aufnahmen von Malaria!, Berlin 1981-1983

© Gudrun Gut

Malaria! - Kaltes Klares Wasser (B-Movie-Mix)