The band Clan of Xymox, also known as simply Xymox, formed in the Netherlands in 1981. Clan Of Xymox featured a trio of songwriters - Pieter Nooten, Ronny Moorings and Anke [also Anka] Wolbert  - 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. Early pioneers of the dark and moody electronic music known as darkwave, their 1980s releases included synthpop/electronic dance music.
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.
- 2 Discography
- 3 References
- 4 External links
The band formed in Nijmegen in 1981, consisting of Ronny Moorings, Anka Wolbert, Frank Weyzig, and Pieter Nooten, - and released a mini-album, Subsequent Pleasures, in 1983. They were invited by Brendan Perry to support Dead Can Dance and were signed to the indie label 4AD, which released their eponymous debut album in 1985. The track7th 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".
In 1986 they released their second and last album on 4AD, Medusa, before signing with PolyGram. Simultaneously, Pieter Nooten recorded and released his album Sleeps With The Fishes (4AD, 1987), in collaboration with Canadian session musician Michael Brook. 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."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. 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 and both tracks hitting the Billboard Club Play Chart. 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 on Billboard Hot 100, generating Top 40 radio airplay and MTV rotation of the Imagination (Edit) single video. Twist of Shadows proved their most commercially successful album, selling more than 300,000 copies worldwide.
By this time the band had moved to England, and released their fourth album, Phoenix, on PolyGram in 1991; after this album, Anka Wolbert and Pieter Nooten left the band due to disagreements about the band's musical direction.Ronny Moorings of Clan of Xymox in concert in 2008, in Orlando, Florida
Xymox, without Nooten and Wolbert, left PolyGram to release the dance-oriented LPs Metamorphosis (1992) and Headclouds (1993) independently. Ronny Moorings toured under the banner of Xymox until 1995 with an evolving cast of live musicians, including girlfriend and future band member Mojca Zugna. Frank Weyzig parted ways with Moorings after the 1994 tour.
Capitalizing on a resurgence in the popularity of gothic rock and the success of bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Rammstein, Moorings had, by the late 1990s, reverted the name to Clan of Xymox and moved to Germany - then the center of the burgeoning industrial music scene. Moorings recruited new live members and resumed touring, signing first with the independent US label Tess Records in 1997 then with Metropolis in 1998. 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. In 1998, 4AD re-releasedClan of Xymox and Medusa in the USA, and Xymox toured the United States the following year. The live band at that time consisted of Moorings, Mojca (bass), Rob Vonk (guitar), Sharon Soffner (keyboards), and Rui Ramos (drums). In October 2000 Xymox released Live, a double CD with nineteen tracks and two videos featuring live performances of Xymox songs from the 4AD, Polygram, and independent eras.
Following the moderate success of 2003's FareWell - which featured several popular tracks on the dance club and college radio circuits internationally, a Best Of Clan of Xymox album was released in September 2004, with re-recorded versions of early hits as well as later offerings.
Aided by social media, the early 2010s saw an expanding international activity of and interest in the band. In early 2009 Clan of Xymox switched European labels to Trisol Record, while remaining on Metropolis and Gravitator for US and Russian releases, respectively. In 2011 Clan of Xymox released a new album, "Darkest Hour", which featured an instrumental track that would later be included on the soundtrack to David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 film)". In 2012 the band released a well-received cover album, Kindred Spirits, (CD, Metropolis Records 2012) featuring covers of several influential postpunk and new wave groups in Mooring's own musical styling.
Clan of Xymox is a regular headliner 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' home of Leipzig, Germany.
- 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)
- 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)
- "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 (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)