In the late 70’s, Gudrun Gut, Bettina Köster, Karin Luner, Eva Gossling and Beate Bartel started Mania D, a new wave-underground band in West Berlin and were a part of the Geniale Dilletanten movement.
Soon after in January 1981, Bettina Köster and Gudrun Gut stepped from the smoldering ashes of Mania D and began new project they called Malaria!. And with the release of the maxi EP "Malaria!" in April that year, the fever spread.
The band filled out to include Manon P. Duursma ("O.U.T." an early Nina Hagen project), Christine Hahn (Static, Glen Branca), and Susanne Kuhnke (Die Haut), absorbing their diverse backgrounds and personalities and grew. They are most often associated with Neue Deutsche Welle and post-punk. Their music unified elements of free jazz with those of new wave by a distinctive saxophone sound.
A first European tour followed during which they appeared on a John Peel session for the BBC and later recorded the single "How do you like my new dog?" for the Belgium label Les Disques du Crepuscule.
Malaria! toured the US next appearing with The Birthday Party, John Cale, and one unforgettable gig together with Nina Hagen in New York's infamous Studio 54 nightclub. This tour was the first that promoted New German Music in the United States. Meanwhile Malaria! recorded the 12" "New York Passage (Your turn to run)" for Cachalot records which went on to reach the independent top 10 in the U.S. as well as in Europe.
During another tour of Europe the band gave birth to "White Water" a 12" long player including "Kaltes Klares Wasser" which went on to become an Indi-classic.
In 1982 Malaria! released to critical acclaim their first album, "Emotion". It was licensed to Nippon Columbia in Japan and the video "Geld/Money" (directed by B.Bühler and D.Hormel) won prizes for its innovative editing style. Tours of England, France, Benelux, Italy and Scandinavia followed.
Then inevitably the group went in their own directions: Bettina and Christine to the United States; Gudrun, Manon and Susanne to new vistas in Germany.
Danceteria was a well-known four-floor nightclub located in New York City, which operated from 1979 until 1986. Throughout its history, the club had seven different locations, three in NYC and four in the Hamptons.
The first Danceteria was opened at 252 West 37th Street by German expatriate Rudolf Pieper and talent booker Jim Fouratt. It catered to a diverse after-hours crowd coming from the downtown rock clubs Mudd Club, Trax, TR3, Chinese Chance and CBGB, and gay discos. The club's DJs were Bill Bahlman, Mark Kamins and Sean Cassette. Bahlman played the first floor on Thursdays and Saturdays, and the second floor every Friday. Kamins played the second floor on Saturday nights.
This facility was closed by the New York police and fire departments in 1980 as it was an illegal, unlicensed facility. Kamins credited the first Danceteria with being the first club to play videos and have two separate DJs play for 12 straight hours. The first Danceteria Video Lounge was designed by video artists Emily Armstrong and Pat Ivers, who programmed an eclectic mix of found footage, video art, early music videos and musical performances.
In 1982, John Argento hired Fouratt and Pieper to promote and book the talent at a new six-floor facility, which became the noted 21st Street Danceteria. The club opened to massive crowds and critical acclaim. The regular DJs on the main floor were Kamins and Jody Kurilla. Former Mudd Club DJ Anita Sarko spun on the first floor, where the bands performed, as well as in the VIP room, Congo Bill, for special events.
Three months after opening, Argento and Pieper dismissed Fouratt and hired Ruth Polsky as the club's talent booker. Under Polsky's direction, the club became renowned as one of centers of new wave music in New York and was frequented by many musicians and artists who became famous during the decade.
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