Clan of Xymox

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Clan of Xymox
Xymox live Triton NYC.JPG
Clan of Xymox live at Triton Music Festival New York City, 2010
Background information
Also known as Xymox
Origin Nijmegen, Netherlands
Genres Electronic rock,[1] darkwave,[2][3] gothic rock,[4] synthpop,[5] new wave[6]
Years active 1981–present
Labels Metropolis Records, Wing Records, PolyGram, 4AD
Website http://www.clanofxymox.com/
Members Ronny Moorings
Mojca Zugna
Mario Usai
Yvonne de Ray
Past members Pieter Nooten
Anka Wolbert
Frank Weyzig
Willem van Antwerpen
Tom Ashton
Sharon Soffner
Rob Vonk
Nina Simic
Rui Ramos
Lilah
Paul Whittlesea
Denise Dijkstra
Agnes Jasper

Clan of Xymox, also known as simply Xymox, are a Dutch rock band formed in 1981. Clan Of Xymox featured a trio of songwriters - Pieter Nooten, Ronny Moorings and Anka Wolbert [1][7] - and gained success in the 1980s, releasing their first two albums on a prestigious independent UK label, a third and fourth album on a major US label and scoring a hit single in the United States.[8] Early pioneers of the dark and moody electronic music known as darkwave,[2] their 1980s releases included synthpop/electronic dance music.[5][9][10]

Though the band is still active and continues to tour and release records, of the original songwriters (Nooten, Moorings, and Wolbert), only Moorings remains in the band today. After the departure of Nooten and Wolbert in the early 1990s, their music turned increasingly goth.[4]

History[edit]

4AD and the Peel Sessions (1981–1988)[edit]

The band formed as a project of Ronny Moorings and Anka Wolbert in Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1981, before moving to Amsterdam and joining Frank Weyzig and Pieter Nooten who added their own contributions.[11] Assuming the name "Xymox", the group[1][6] released a mini-album, Subsequent Pleasures, in 1983.[1][12] They were invited by Brendan Perry to support Dead Can Dance on a UK tour and were signed to the indie label 4AD, which released their eponymous debut album in 1985.[1][13] The track 7th Time, with Anka Wolbert on lead vocals, was picked up by John Peel, leading to the band recording two of the Peel Sessions at the BBC, in June and November 1985. Peel referred to the band's dark and melancholic sound as "darkwave".[14][15]

In 1986 they released their second and last album on 4AD, Medusa, before signing with PolyGram.[1] Simultaneously, Pieter Nooten recorded and released his album Sleeps With The Fishes (4AD, 1987),[16][17] in collaboration with Canadian session musician Michael Brook.[18] In a 2010 interview with AlterNation Magazine, Moorings expressed disappointment at the divided interests of the band members at this stage, exclaiming Medusa's follow-up album was "made entirely independently, without the rest of the musicians, who were then on vacation."[19]

PolyGram and International Success (1988–1991)[edit]

Ronny Moorings, Anka Wolbert and Pieter Nooten, 1989
Ronny Moorings, Anka Wolbert and Pieter Nooten, 1991

Now abbreviated as Xymox, the band's third album, Twist of Shadows, was released in 1989. This album, and its successor Phoenix, were released by Wing Records, a subsidiary of Polydor Records/PolyGram. In the United States, these two albums created a cult following for the band.[20] The first two singles taken from the Twist of Shadows album, Blind Hearts and Obsession proved college and club hits in the United States with Obsession charting on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart[21][22] and both tracks hitting the Billboard Club Play Chart.[22][23][24] It was the album’s third single, Imagination (with Anka Wolbert on lead vocals), that brought the band the most mainstream attention, charting at No. 85[8] on Billboard Hot 100, generating Top 40 radio airplay and MTV rotation of the Imagination (Edit) single video.[1][25] Twist of Shadows proved their most commercially successful album, selling more than 300,000 copies worldwide.[13][25]

By this time the band had moved to England, and released their fourth album, Phoenix, on PolyGram in 1991;[1] after this album, Anka Wolbert and Pieter Nooten left the band due to disagreements about the band's musical direction.[13][26]

Independent Labels and Move to Germany (1991–2014)[edit]

Ronny Moorings of Clan of Xymox in concert in 2008, in Orlando, Florida

Xymox, without Nooten and Wolbert, left PolyGram to release the UK acid house inspired LPs Metamorphosis (1992) and Headclouds (1993) independently.[1] These albums marked a break from the darkwave sound of the 1980s and met with poor record sales in the United States which had moved towards a markedly different grunge sound at the time. Ronny Moorings toured under the banner of Xymox until 1994 with an evolving cast of live musicians, including girlfriend and future band member Mojca Zugna.[27] Frank Weyzig - the last of the original lineup - parted ways with Moorings after the 1994 tour, after which Moorings moved back to the Netherlands and took a three year hiatus from music writing.[28]

Capitalizing on a resurgence in the popularity of gothic rock and the success of bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Rammstein, 1997 saw Moorings reverting the name to Clan of Xymox and moving to Germany - then the center of the burgeoning industrial music scene - to resume songwriting. Moorings recruited new live members and signed with the independent US label Tess Records in 1997 then with Metropolis in 1998.[20] The LPs Hidden Faces (1997), Creatures (1999) and Notes from the Underground (2001) reflect an increasingly electro sound while maintaining the distinctive dance rhythms associated with the Clan of Xymox catalog.[20] In 1998, 4AD re-released Clan of Xymox and Medusa in the USA, and Xymox toured the United States the following year.[20] 2003's FareWell, featured several charting tracks internationally. Most recently, the LP "Matters of Mind, Body, and Soul" was released on Trisol, Metropolis, and Gravitator record labels for European, American, and Russian distribution, respectively in February 2014.

In addition to intermittent original releases, Clan of Xymox has contributed to a number of compilations and side projects since conception. In 1987, the track Moscoviet Mosquito was re-recorded and released on the 4AD compilation album Lonely Is an Eyesore.[29] In October 2000 the band released Live,[1] a double CD with nineteen tracks and two videos featuring live performances of Xymox songs from the 4AD, Polygram, and independent eras.[30] In September 2004, a Best Of Clan of Xymox album was released with re-recorded versions of early hits as well as later offerings.[31] In 2011, the track "In Your Arms Again" from the LP "Darkest Hour" was included on the soundtrack to David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 film)".[32] In 2012 the band released a cover album, Kindred Spirits, (Metropolis Records 2012) featuring covers of several influential postpunk and new wave groups in Mooring's own musical styling. Social media and Mooring's fluency in several languages has also allowed for broad international visibility of the band.

In a touring capacity, Clan of Xymox is best known as a headlining act for several annual international alternative music festivals, including M'era Luna Festival in Hildesheim, Germany, Triton Festival in New York City, Summer Darkness in Utrecht, Netherlands, Whitby Gothic Weekend in Whitby, England, and the largest - Wave-Gotik-Treffen, in Moorings' current home of Leipzig, Germany.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Clan of Xymox (LP, 4AD, 1985)
  • Medusa (CD, 4AD, 1986)
  • Twist of Shadows (CD, Wing, 1989)
  • Phoenix (CD, Wing Records/Polydor, 1991)
  • Metamorphosis (CD, Mogull Entertainment/X-ULT, 1992)
  • Headclouds (CD, Zok/Off-Beat, 1993)
  • Hidden Faces (CD, Tess, 1997)
  • Creatures (CD, Metropolis/Pandaimonium, 1999; re-released, Gravitator, 2006)
  • Notes from the Underground, (CD, Metropolis/Pandaimonium, 2001; re-released, Gravitator, 2007)
  • Farewell (CD, Metropolis/Pandaimonium, 2003; re-released, Gravitator, 2007)
  • Breaking Point (CD, Gravitator/Metropolis/Pandaimonium/Vision Music, 2006)
  • In Love We Trust, (CD, Trisol/Metropolis/Gravitator, 2009)
  • Darkest Hour, (CD, Metropolis Records 2011)
  • Kindred Spirits, (CD, Metropolis Records 2012)
  • Matters Of Mind, Body & Soul, (CD, Trisol/Metropolis 2014)

Singles/EPs[edit]

  • Subsequent Pleasures (vinyl 12", self-released, 1983)
  • "A Day" (12", 4AD, 1986; re-released, Old Gold, 1998)
  • "A Day/Stranger" (12", Contempo, 1985)
  • "Louise" (7", Megadisc, 1986)
  • "Muscoviet Musquito" (promotional 7", Virgin France 1986)
  • "Blind Hearts" (12", 4AD/Rough Trade, 1987)
  • "Blind Hearts" (12", Wing, 1989; different songs than from the 4AD release)
  • "Obsession" (12", Wing/PolyGram, 1989)
  • "Imagination" (12" and CD-single, Wing, 1989)
  • "Phoenix" (CS and LP, Polydor, 1991)
  • "Phoenix of My Heart" (Maxi CD and 12", Wing/Polydor, 1991)
  • "At the End of the Day" (Maxi CD and 12", Wing, 1991)
  • "Out of the Rain" (Maxi CD, Tess, 1997)
  • "This World" (Maxi CD, Tess, 1998)
  • "Consolation" (Maxi CD, Metropolis, 1999)
  • "Liberty" (Maxi CD, Metropolis/Pandaimonium, 2000)
  • The John Peel Sessions (CD EP, Strange Fruit, 2001; re-released, Celebration, 2003)
  • "There's No Tomorrow" (Maxi CD, Pandaimonium, 2002)
  • "Weak In My Knees" (Maxi CD, Pandaimonium, 2006)
  • "Heroes" (Pandaimonium, 2007)
  • "Emily" (Maxi CD, Trisol, 2009)

Remixes[edit]

  • "Dream On/XDD" (12", X-ULT, 1992)
  • "Reaching Out" (Maxi CD and 12", Zok, 1993)
  • "Spiritual High (Club Mix)" (promotional 12", Zok, 1993)
  • "Remix" – (CD, Zok, 1994)

Live albums[edit]

  • Live (CD, Metropolis/Pandaimonium, 2000)
  • Live at Castle Party (CD, Big Blue Records, 2011)

Compilations[edit]

  • Remixes from the Underground (double CD, Metropolis/Pandaimonium, 2002)
  • The Best of Clan of Xymox (CD, Metropolis/Pandaimonium/Vision Music/Irond, 2004)
  • Visible (double DVD, Pandaimonium/Gravitator/Vision Music, 2008)

Remixes of other artists[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Strong, Martin Charles (2003). The great indie discography. Cannongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-335-9. 
  2. ^ a b Dark-Wave-Band: The Cure, Deine Lakaien, Goethes Erben, Clan of Xymox, the Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, Death in June. Cannongate. 2010. ISBN 978-1-158-79113-2. 
  3. ^ Axel Schmidt, Klaus Neumann-Braun, Axel; Klaus Neumann-Braun (2004). Die Welt der Gothics: Spielräume düster konnotierter Transzendenz. VS Verlag. pp. 269–70. ISBN 978-3-531-14353-8. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "RPM News". CMJ New Music Monthly. 23 August 1999. Retrieved 31 December 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Xymox – Imagination (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 3 Aug 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Bonini, Alessandro; Emanuele Tamagnini (2006). New wave. Gremese Editore. pp. 101–102. ISBN 978-88-8440-412-1. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "4AD - Clan Of Xymox". 4AD. Retrieved 31 Oct 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Chart History Imagination". Billboard. Retrieved 2 Aug 2011. 
  9. ^ "Clan of Xymox Discography at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 4 Aug 2011. 
  10. ^ "Xymox – Blind Hearts at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 4 Aug 2011. 
  11. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/299365/clan-xymox/biography
  12. ^ Mic (7 March 2011). "(Clan of) XYMOX – Subsequent Pleasures 1983–1985 (Biographie Teil 1/5)". Unruhr. Retrieved 3 Aug 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c Sutton, Michael. "Clan of Xymox: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Keeping It Peel – 04/06/1985 Xymox". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "BBC – Radio 1 – Keeping It Peel – 03/11/1985 Xymox (2) – Xymox". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Sleep with the Fishes - Michael Brook". Allmusic. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "4AD - Pieter Nooten And Michael Brook". 4AD. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Robins, Ira A. (1997). The Trouser Press guide to '90s rock: the all-new fifth edition of The Trouser Press record guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-684-81437-7. 
  19. ^ "Interview with Ronny Moorings". Alternation.eu. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  20. ^ a b c d Richards, David (10 April 1999). "Metropolis is Home For 'Creatures' From Electronica Group Clan of Xymox". Billboard. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  21. ^ Scott, Jane (30 June 1989). "Chance meeting leads to Xymox". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  22. ^ a b "Chart History Obsession". Billboard. Retrieved 2 Aug 2011. 
  23. ^ "Chart History Blind Hearts". Billboard. Retrieved 2 Aug 2011. 
  24. ^ Coleman, Bill (29 April 1989). "New on the Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  25. ^ a b John C. Hughes (20 Aug 2009). "Lost in the ’90s: Xymox, "Twist of Shadows"". Popdose. Retrieved 3 Aug 2011. 
  26. ^ Mic (19 September 2010). "Pieter Nooten: "To be honest I never listen to pop music"". unrurh. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  27. ^ Labussière, Christophe (August 2003). "Clan of Xymox". Premonition. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  28. ^ http://www.unruhr.de/musik/revue/3022-clan-of-xymox-metamorphosis-biographie-teil-4
  29. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/lonely-is-an-eyesore-mw0000041022
  30. ^ "Live". AMG. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  31. ^ "The Best of Clan of Xymox". AMG. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  32. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568346/soundtrack
  33. ^ I:Scintilla remixed by Mortiis, Combichrist, KMFDM and Clan Of Xymox for new album

External links[edit]