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Ballet Mécanique remains one of the most sensational post-punk acts on the Danish music scene. When the group’s debut album, The Icecold Waters of the Egocentric Calculation, was released, it was instantly proclaimed as Danish rock history by legendary Danish poets and critics such as Michael Strunge and Poul Borum.

Among many achievements the record still figures on the illustrious Danish rock encyclopedia Politikens Rockleksikon’s chart over the 50 most important releases in Danish rock.

1. An Attempt of Interruption (3:03)
2. Poem (5:33)
3. Sweetened (6:13)
4. Lied (5:06)
5. Theory (1:48)
6. Ism (6:03)
7. Leathern (5:23)
8. Threads (2:44)
9. Veins (7:02)


The nurseling and the tendon
The naked responsibility
Unexisting possibilities

Like long gone friends
Infectious ideas
I kept your sins
Sincere to the end

And I concentrate on remembering your face, your eyes
But the noise from the second day’s party wipes it out
Sentimental warfare

Days of life
Seconds of love
Hours of sin
This could be as heart-known
Lust dead in deed
Vulgar to feed
Holding me down
You could be forgiven


The homeless anger has cried so sweet
Does it rise from the blood-stained sheets?

Dearly bought with the blood

Will torn emotions be the sky of above?
The genesis of illness lies in your blood

Hate is to be purity
Hate is of truth
I will not tolerate the inbred indulgence

Die in your blood beds
This could be love

Of such a desire


This harsh taste on my tongue
How could I in any way conceal my despair?
To drain the purity
To put guilt to death

This haughty bitterness
Perhaps a resort
To see these bittersweet sweat drops fall
Fall in my own eyes

Their complete carelessness concerning relations
I can still hear their swelling words
To suffer is no longer to question
To swill the common platitude
Their perspiring excuses
This will be the plague spot of dead emotions

Tired in vain
Fought in sleep
Responsible in cry of blood
As the pregnant wound in my blood
What they seek are the souls

Land and torch of pure
Kneel to true
Kneel to sincere
To feel your heart warmth I will need
This will be the seed of pure


Sad whisper
Told unforgiven
Lied towards
I reflected yours
At all to feel
This too has caused
Curse of need
Sand of bleeding
Painful doubt
Lies of love
They have killed me beneath me

Nor likely
Reach for fall
I will not fall
High will save
Gutter’ish feel
You have to kneel
Before and for
Nothingness doomed
Sweet-lain or dried
Conquership or
Conquered emotions
Would you lie to me?


By the heat of cancer
They sat out cry or deed
Wished perhaps through fight of grief
Kiss my lips to sweet sleep
And sit back in hateful doubt
To rip up a healed blot
Insult me with “ago”

And I watch my veins
These veins are threads in my flesh
Needlework of mothers
Wait for time or birth

What I was frightened of for far too long
I can now nevermore find way to you
Petting with wounds
Move mark versus ground
Or Christ forgive


Porridge kisses telling only of endless beds
Saw the throat of forgetting, while ache became ache
There is no obsession in thoughts of skilful concrete
You could easily connect ‘dear’ with envying

Share icecold kisses beneath lips
Eternal twice with axe-murdered hearts

Try to shed the tortured increase
Try to fight the eloquent betrayal
To desire adopted, truncated emotions

Like the seabirds above the red trains
These expanding smells of floating flesh

You condemn this evocative lust
But your pornographic emotions are way out of hand
Barefooted evil in usual kisses
This ache of unseen
These failures, friends
These senses of heartbeat
These brotherless conspiracies crucify our emotions


Edges of speaking, outlived of hatred
Could I forgive at all?
Or could sigh be further than I reached always?

Light died, -ly pregnant
Up, killed in your words
Sheet-minded loving was respect as given thought
Of hairy swine-like

Hours of nameless
Of this penetration
Could I still cry for sad?
Tell friend and leech apart?
The fall of the fallen

Unnamed or misused
Lethal hate given
Word castles built in vain
Salute nugacity
Could I feel guilty?

The leathern tenderness
Did you cry lustful?
I can now nevermore give what I wanted to
To feel so leathern

Cry of the stone tears
Kiss of the unsaid
Without these arms to stretch (died in this early grave)
Like passion for unseen (buried before dying)
I seek the guiltful

To feel so leathern


Beloved motherless
A tear of heart
Easy-drawn waiting
Hand and nail

This could be anywhere between reality and thighs
Slight touch of warmth made only of sweat

And fright became humiliation
And feel became inhonesty

You drained my soul of emotion
You killed my heart with devotion


This pale pulse has told of old
Versus your SS-nakedness
Bodiless is carried on legs
On front to fight both
Every step is a step against
Bent to promised “be forgotten”
Could I cry now for faith?
You rejected my love
You rejected my need

Stud-like tenderness was all they could afford
I once dreamt of a swan-like soul to follow me velvet-likely
But I feel betrayed by the lecherous falseness given by former friends
I once called them friends
Ghostly born of graceless revenge

Their tongue love
Light the light of sadness
A lawn of dawn is what I seek
Ethical portcullis above my breathing
The length of an era of heart lust
The length of heaven
You fought your endless wars with pleasure
Pleasure-like of the second tear
A fluxion of floweriness
Or spiritual fratricide
This is the age of the dust

Count out mercy of degree
Heated rape from birth floods of erosion
Like velvet leaves on ice-born mountains
Am I still able to sink into the deepest waters of the air?
Lonely above

Like candilized veins
Misused to be torn
They can drain me for strength
Like impressions of wrong
Although tied together
I will fall for knives
They can drain me for strength
Like impressions of wrong

From where their ground was
From where their rights were
I thought I knew
Like the strained derm
Unforgotten or gifted
I realized these shaved angles
I oversized behaved angles
Truly heartful
And tears were told be cried

Can mountains fall by sound of horns?
Was openness like pulse stillborn?
I have inherited soul ache from the sadness that conquers hearts
Tear flesh bursts
Softened, pale
Blindly you watch ideological xenophobia
Demand a religion of love
Demand openness

Pains of truthful are the pains of grandeur

Breathless, choir’ish
What shall I call you?
Night dark sea
Heart shape of you
Demand a religion of love
Demand openness

There is only one truth
There is only one will
Will to feel
Seek for truth
Demand a religion of love
Demand openness

Your will to feel
The seed of will
The seed of openness
Where has it gone?
You’ve drained it for strength


“This is incredible! This is unheard! Today we are writing Danish rock history!”
( * * * * * )
Poul Borum (legendary Danish literary critic in Ekstra Bladet, the Danish equivalent to The Sun)

“This music will live a hundred years from now.”
Michael Strunge (legendary Danish poet in Sidegaden, a Danish music and literature magazine)

“Up until today Ballet Mécanique is the most revolutionary, innovative and deeply committed that has happened to Danish rock’n’roll.”
Aktuelt (a major Danish newspaper at the time)

“Martin Hall appears as the very symbol of youth seeking landfall and manifestation whether the decade was the fifties, the sixties, the seventies or, as now, the eighties.”
Politiken (the Danish equivalent to The Guardian)


“Ballet Mécanique’s debut album The Icecold Waters of the Egocentric Calculation from 1981 still stands as one of the most chilling and uncompromising works of its era.”
( * * * * * )
Ekstra Bladet (the Danish equivalent to The Sun)

“Ballet Mécanique’s debut album is a true classic in Danish rock, a strong and moving album that hasn’t lost any intensity during the years.”
( * * * * * )
Gaffa (Denmark’s biggest music magazine)

“A rock historical work of mighty proportions.”
( * * * * * )
Soundvenue (the Danish equivalent to Q Magazine)

“So intense, uncompromising and unique that the record simply remains inescapable even today.”
Geiger (the Danish equivalent to Wire Magazine)

”A still impressive and overwhelming work.”
Information (the Danish equivalent to The Independent)

”An astounding record that deserves its status as a true classic in Danish rock history.”
Undertoner (Danish site for independent music)

Martin Hall: Vocals, piano, bass, cello, guitar, tapes, percussion, balalaika, glockenspiel
Michael Karshøj: Drums, bass
Morten Versner: Bass, violin

Design: Martin Hall

Ballet Mécanique synthesized rock, avant-garde and poetry in an at the time unheard way, using dancers, slides and films at their concerts to create their own surrealistic ecology on stage. The group played (in)famous concerts such as at Copenhagen Reggae Festival in Enghaveparken in 1980 and at Roskilde Festival in 1981.

Ballet Mécanique released their second and final album For in 1982 after which singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Martin Hall reconstituted the group as Under For.

At the time of its original release The Icecold Waters of the Egocentric Calculation was also released in Holland and Germany. In relation to the album’s 25th anniversary Sony-BMG rereleased the record as a double-cd in September 2006. You can read more about this edition here: