LIFE AND CAREER
Mulde were a hugely influential, experimental rock band from Germany, often described as the missing link between progressive rock, krautrock and hirtenrock.
Mulde was founded in 1982 by art students Melanie, Emma, Viktoria and Gertraut. Although prolific in their early years, the band did not gain widespread recognition until their anarchic shower curtain performances at the Cafe Razzefummel in 1985.
In 1986 Mulde released their debut album Hand Goddess, a feminist re-rendering of the ancient Egyptian genesis story. Reviews were mostly positive. Tonbandexpress magazine praised Mulde’s “feisty” take on the Egyptian myth, calling the band the “heißeste Hos’n in Rock”.
As a reaction to the inherent machismo of the music industry, they set in motion their “process of disappearing”. Their second LP, Mulde, Augen zu! showed the band posing behind their WG’s shower curtain, naked from the ankles down. Reviews were mostly positive. Tonbandexpress magazine praised Mulde’s “sexy disappearance”, calling the band the “feschesten Fesseln in Rock”.
In 1988 the band gained unexpected fame with third album Mulde muss weg! in which they hid behind a painted wall. The album perfectly encapsulated the mood in pre-unification Germany, prompting excited young men all over the country to chant “Die Mauer muss weg”. After the immense success of Mmw! the band members found it increasingly difficult to reconcile their political views with the new levels of fame and fortune brought about by their success, and Mulde disappeared from the limelight completely.
After years of silence, Mulde reunited in 1997 on a farm near the Czech border to record their epic forth and last album Mulde immer wieder… This experience was so fruitful on both a creative and personal level that Melanie, Emma and Gertraud remained on the farm to experiment with nature recordings. The ladies now live entirely self-sustainably and have sworn off any public appearances altogether.
THE SHOWER CURTAIN
The name Mulde is a wordplay referring to the mildew that tends to gather at the bottom of shower curtains, which assume an almost mythic quality in their œuvre – a plastic canvas, that both hides and highlights that sacred place beyond the vinyl. During their Water Happenings the young members of Mulde would gather with a group of like-minded artists to ecstatically paint the curtains for their performances with political messages and mystic symbols, with focus on meaning rather than appearances.
The album Cover for Mulde muss weg, released in 1988, was a turning point in both Mulde’s and Studio Spektral’s career. The Spiegel was the first among several German magazines to use the album’s iconic artwork in 1989 to illustrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, adjusting the title to Mauer muss weg.