A 5 Kalte Erotik / Längst Vorbei? 7″ reissue
The debut EP from Germany’s A 5 (1980’s Erst Ausgabe EP) was a fairly trad expression of early ’80s Deutschpunk, all speedy, bouncy rhythms and rapid-fire dual vocal trade-offs, but for this 1981 follow-up (also their final record), they waded into the much darker and icier waters of Neue Deutsche Welle. The sinister rhythm of A-side “Kalte Erotik” is intensified by percussive piano stabs and disorienting waves of synth as the female vocalist (who delivers her lines entirely in German) switches from a stern, dispassionate MALARIA!-esque tone to wild shrieks with shades of NINA HAGEN, while her male counterpart responds with shouts in English about, uh, ice cream—an unintentional psychic synth punk bond with KITCHEN AND THE PLASTIC SPOONS’ “Ice Cream to God” from the same year?! On the flip, “Längst Vorbei?” is comparatively more bright, with bubbly new wave keys behind a breathless call-and-response and a charging minimalist beat, like HANS-A-PLAST with a little more PETTICOATS/PLASTIX-modeled eccentricity. Post-punk really did suit them much better, das ist gut.