Malaria! Early 80s, all female New Wave group from Berlin that you should know about


German New Wave (or “Cold Wave” if you prefer) group Malaria were one of the most interesting groups to come out of Germany in the early 1980s. The all female band was formed by an alliance of Berlin art scenesters Gudrun Gut—an early member of Einstürzende Neubauten—and Bettina Köster. Both had been members of Mania D, a group championed by John Peel.

A 1982 EP called New York Passage introduced UK and US audiences to the group, with the record even going top ten on college radio charts. Malaria toured with the likes of John Cale, The Birthday Party, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Nina Hagen. I loved ‘em, but it seems like they basically fell apart before much more came of them, a real tragedy.

At a certain point over the past ten years, DJs specializing in “Cold Wave” have put Malaria back on the musical map. There are a few visual reminders of the group in their prime:

“Your Turn to Run”: