Clan of Xymox

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Clan of Xymox
Clan of Xymox live at Triton Music Festival New York City, 2010
Clan of Xymox live at Triton Music Festival New York City, 2010
Background information
Also known asXymox
OriginAmsterdam, Netherlands
Years active1981–present
LabelsMetropolis Records, Wing Records, PolyGram, 4AD
MembersRonny Moorings
Mojca Zugna
Mario Usai
Sean Göbel
Past membersPieter Nooten
Anka Wolbert
Frank Weyzig
Willem van Antwerpen
Tom Ashton
Sharon Soffner
Rob Vonk
Nina Simic
Rui Ramos
Lilah (Katalin Clarke)
Paul Whittlesea
Denise Dijkstra
Agnes Jasper
Yvonne de Ray

Clan of Xymox, also known as simply Xymox, are a Dutch rock band formed in 1981 best known as pioneers of darkwave music. Clan of Xymox featured a trio of singers and songwriters – Ronny Moorings, Anka Wolbert, and Pieter Nooten[1][7] – and gained success in the 1980s, releasing their first two albums on 4AD, before releasing their third and fourth albums on Wing Records and scoring a hit single in the United States.[8] Their 1980s releases included synthpop/electronic dance music. The band is still active, continuing to tour and release records with Moorings as the sole remaining original songwriter and singer.


4AD and the Peel Sessions (1983–1988)[edit]

Clan of Xymox were formed in Nijmegen, Netherlands, in 1983 by Ronny Moorings (vocals, guitar) and Anka Wolbert (bass, vocals). A year later, Moorings and Wolbert moved to Amsterdam, releasing the mini-album Subsequent Pleasures as Xymox. The album was limited to 500 copies.[9]

"Ronny and I met as students in Nijmegen and we connected over our taste in music. We started making music together and picked up some equipment to experiment with, like the Korg MS-10 and a rhythm machine...We started to perform live, just the two of us, changing instruments in between songs. While I had a bass guitar strapped around my neck and simultaneously hit the monophonic keyboard, Ronny played guitar and sang. We combined our sound with tape loops, a Casio, plus a few weird instruments."[10]

Named from zymotic (of or causing fermentation), the band formed as a project of Ronny Moorings and Anka Wolbert in Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1983,[11][12][13][9] before moving to Amsterdam and joining Pieter Nooten (Moorings' Nijmegen flat-mate[14]) and Frank Weyzig, who added their own contributions,[9] Assuming the name "Xymox", the group[1][2] released a five-track EP entitled, Subsequent Pleasures, in 1983.[1][15] 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][16] 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".[17][18]

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),[19][20] in collaboration with Canadian session musician Michael Brook.[21] 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."[22]

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.[23] 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[24][25] and both tracks hitting the Billboard Club Play Chart.[25][26][27]

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][28] Twist of Shadows proved their most commercially successful album, selling more than 300,000 copies worldwide.[16][28]

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.[16][29]

Independent labels and move to Germany (1991–Present)[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 dark wave 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.[30] Frank Weyzig (the last of the original line-up) 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.[31]

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.[23] 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.[23] In 1998, 4AD re-released Clan of Xymox and Medusa in the US, and Xymox toured the United States the following year.[23] 2003's FareWell featured several charting tracks internationally.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[32] 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.[33] In September 2004, a Best of Clan of Xymox album was released with re-recorded versions of early hits as well as later offerings.[34] 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.[35] In 2012 the band released a cover album, Kindred Spirits, featuring covers of several influential post-punk and new wave groups in Mooring's own musical styling. The songs "A Day", "Masquerade", and "Cry in the Wind" were featured on the official soundtrack to the 2014 film The Guest.

In a touring capacity,[36] 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,[citation needed] Triton Festival in New York City,[citation needed] Summer Darkness in Utrecht, Netherlands,[citation needed] Whitby Gothic Weekend in Whitby, England,[citation needed] and the largest – Wave-Gotik-Treffen, in Moorings' current home of Leipzig, Germany.[citation needed]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Clan of Xymox (LP, CD, 4AD, 1985)[37]
  • Medusa (LP, CD, 4AD, 1986)
  • Twist of Shadows (LP, CD, CS, Wing, 1989) - under Xymox
  • Phoenix (LP, CD, CS, Wing Records/Polydor, 1991) - under Xymox (last with original line-up)
  • Metamorphosis (CD, CS, Mogull Entertainment/X-ULT, 1992) - under Xymox
  • Headclouds (LP, CD, CS, Zok/Off-Beat, 1993) - under Xymox
  • 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 - LP, Trisol 2015)
  • Darkest Hour, (CD, Trisol/Metropolis Records 2011 - LP, Trisol 2018)
  • Matters of Mind, Body & Soul, (CD, Trisol/Metropolis 2014 - LP, Trisol 2018)
  • Days of Black, (CD, Trisol/Metropolis 2017 - LP, Trisol 2017)
  • Spider on the Wall, (CD, Trisol/Metropolis 2020)
  • Limbo, (CD, Digital, Metropolis, 2021)

Cover album[edit]

  • Kindred Spirits, (CD, Trisol/Metropolis 2012 - LP, Trisol 2018)


  • Subsequent Pleasures (vinyl 12", self-released, 1983) - under Xymox
  • "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)
  • "She" (Metropolis, 2020)
  • "Lovers" (Metropolis, 2020)
  • "All I Ever Know" (Metropolis, 2020)


  • "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)


  • 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]


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  10. ^ "Subsequent Pleasures: An interview with Anka Wolbert of Xymox". 14 August 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2021. After Pieter and Frank had joined and we started touring on a bigger scale, I mostly played bass and keyboard live, and would only sing one or two songs. I did not necessarily enjoy playing live, not yet anyway. I mostly enjoyed the music writing process itself, the programming and experimenting with structure and sound, by myself. We’d only start rehearsing as a band together after the songs had been worked on in our home studio, not the other way round. The three of us – Pieter, Ronny and I – would each come up with songs, we were all songwriters, and we’d take turns working by ourselves in the studio, or work on bits and pieces by ourselves at home. Pieter and I would also contribute to Ronny’s songs. This didn’t happen so much vice versa. In the end, and although a little fragmented, it always did feel we accomplished getting all the tracks together by team effort. On the first two 4AD albums we split royalties equally in three.
  11. ^ "Clan Of Xymox". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 21 April 2021. This atmospheric electro-goth band was formed in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in 1983. The unit’s name is taken from the English word zymotic (‘of fermentation’)
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  32. ^ Andy Kellman. "Lonely Is an Eyesore – Various Artists – Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
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  35. ^ "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)". IMDb. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  36. ^ DeBord, Jason (22 March 2015). "Clan of Xymox at DNA Lounge | San Francisco, California | 3/19/2015 (Concert Review + Photos + streaming/online at the DNA Lounge Archives)". Rock Subculture Journal. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  37. ^ "Clan Of Xymox - Clan Of Xymox - CD". Rough Trade. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  38. ^ "I:Scintilla remixed by Mortiis, Combichrist, KMFDM and Clan Of Xymox for new album". side-line. 8 May 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Out on June 15th is the newest album from the Illinois-based industrial rock quartet I:Scintilla....The limited 2CD box edition of "Optics" includes a 12-track bonus cd with remixes by Combichrist, Mortiis, Clan Of Xymox, En Esch (KMFDM), Angelspit and so MP3 downloads

External links[edit]