MAY 1985

The most requested album from Hall’s eighties catalogue has always been Relief, his first lp-release as a solo artist – an album on which he plays all instruments himself, from drums to string sections. The lp was originally released in the spring of 1985 and has topped most fan polls as the singer’s best album ever.

Relief didn’t appear In digital form before September 2009 where it was remastered and issued alongside Hall’s other grand electropop/rock record from the same period, Cutting Through (1986).

1. Eyes and Hands (5:11)2. An Overture (4:58)3. A Description of Patterns (4:49)4. Network (3:56)5. Resonance (5:55)6. Word on Word (5:00)7. Spiral (3:27)8. As It Begins (5:45)


As I am
Changing in these filters of light
Without difference between the symbol and the force that is symbolized
Just like you
Scanning the shadows
I see you through nothing but eyes
Depending on eyes
As the sphere of wound strengthens the love

Earthbound to heaven but trapped in the mirrors
If self-made conditions rule perfectly blind
So selfish bourgeois
So vulgar pretentious in your attempted martyrdom
From sacrifice to power release
The strain keeps the balance of love
While it shines like a diamond
So dustless and unseen
Beyond tension and form

Feel it
Take it in
In whirls of love
Through eyes and hands
A voice surrounds me
A touch reminds me
Equalizing every change

Again I lie down to die in your arms
Surrounded by the rings in the water
Beyond dividing life into senses in intellectual self-mutilation
In every circle knowing the centre
In every touch a signal so tender
All on the outside
All on the inside
Without distinction

From request to request
Hiding in the mirrors
In these laws of pain
In the identity of the pain
Drawing the lines between love and hatred
Based on code and revenge
Where’s your respect for love?
Where’s your respect for life?
Acting out neurotic non-appearance

Stimulating some denied desire by simulating a heart on fire
In worlds on location
In wordless betrayal
In the illusion of security
But there will be no restrictions
Nor any limits
For body and spirit
When love transcends
In both sense and symbol
Beyond good and evil
Beyond you and me

Cover me with your eyes


There are no such concepts as “for” or “against”. Love is centreless, limitless, beyond any man-made black-versus-white terminology. Of course there has to be a reality based on the “love under will” principle but to regard this discipline as the final point could easily become just another counterphobia. There’s no truth to hide in, no lie to prosecute. We’re here all alone and every individual judges itself.

Pictures melting
Covering all senses
Marks the outline of your presence
And your whisper hits me like a scream
Of affection
Savage as death

As I lie by your side in the still of the night
The oblivion of all that’s ever been left behind me
Cut on cut
Lines on lines
The return from each bow
In a triangle move
From the nucleus to the final break

In this vacuum between how we think two-dimensional but sense three-dimensional, emotion and intellect are often considered as two ends in themselves. However, it seems to me that they’re just the two ground pillars over which the web of the spiritual reality can be woven. It’s like a black-and-white photography. You don’t see the black colour isolated from the white. You instantly perceive the colours united as the motive of the picture.

As I sense you in delayed impressions
Set in time by zigzag patterns
All relations synchronized with nearness
As the nature of fulfilment

And from stretch to relief
All I’ve seen
All I’ve done
Blow on blow
All untouched
Closer and closer in every turn
The eternity of every moment we share
And the perfect decay
Of the mornings
Of the waves of time


The claustrophobia
The haze of a thousand cigarettes
You talk about magic
But you can’t even change yourself
The self-destruction we used to worship
The perfect setting
If good it turned me on
If bad it tore me up

In mind made of steel
In value and sharing
Repressing your need
Feel it out
Get it out
Don’t you feel the lie?
The drug-confirmed doubt
An all-hate obedience in this aftertaste of impossible dreams

And every keyword
Every war fought for independence
Remember the details
Spread in circles to cover the wound
Structures of reality
Overtures of defeat
In love it brought you near
In fear it brought you to hell

Neanderthal ways and left behind dreams
A thousand more words just to emphasize another skin-deep announcement
The love that we shared
So brutally wasted
In line-ups of doubt and delusion
And question marks much too easily set
As we never gave ourselves completely
As questions defeated all answers too perfectly
Surrounded by walls
From level to level
From words to silence
From hate to love
I don’t regret anything that I’ve done
I just want to become what I am


Through the rupture to the surface
With the tissue of days laying soft over skin
As white on white
In this reverberation of love
The warmth comes in waves
Guided by nerve
Just like the air covering me

As the light reflects itself
In this change of scenery
A reunion takes its place
Transforming namelessly
Into crystal and cell
Into heaven and hell
Into all we’ve ever seen
Into all we’ve ever been

From word to matter
Silhouettes ensouled by the loss
In a vortex of skin
To the centre of the bindings
While you simulate love
The transcendence remains your trauma
As you think in 2D
Think in 3D

In this network
Words reinforced in their turn-back from the walls
And absorbing all your nearness
I breathe in every particle of you

And in memory of you
I’ll connect these worlds apart
I will find all that I need
In the mirror of your eyes
And be breathless by love


Weakening over weakening
A fire that burns so brightly
Only a shadow cast by yourself
So soft and fading
Wind over body
Shaking each nerve
In curves of freedom
In the hardest care
A baptism in desire and in merciless grace

And in this fusion
Sister shadows compressed to the core
Difference on difference in every framing I make
In display on display
And again
In the beauty of all death
An ultimate reality
Double-lined from phase to phase

From the mother-wound to the scabelon
From one to zero in a circle of ten
Burning cities melt into sunset
The blue light
The white beds
The roaring shapes of love
From stone to skin
Forcing all life
Trapped in this outline
For you alone
This time for all we know

Like a shadow
I feel you near
In all these nights without you
From dust to contour
Always there
From the centre to the line
Hermetically closed inside me
For you alone
This time for all we know

Shining through time
Sacred but still so raw
And all the love
Moving so motionless
And even now
As it always will be

In each overload
Affection running tenderly wild
Losing shadow in every move I make
In a flow of warmth
Like blood spreading in water

All alone
Surrounded by time
From displacement to displacement
And in the shadowplay of memory
Closing my eyes

And into the abyss of your love
Trapped inside the heavens of your touch
Felt like this a hundred times before
Still I only need it more and more
I will drink the salt stains from your skin
Kiss you clean from all the violence
Drugs, repression, fantasy and fear
All I need is just to feel you near


I took every advantage
As I questioned your love
And took every precaution
In remembrance of my own ways
And the crush-up of time
Mirrored in question marks
So insensible real
Surrounded in drugs and wasted love

And again
As the dogma of death constitutes every movement I make
In a liberation too “fascist” for you
In a declaration understood by too few
Word on word
In this classic replay
In my face
All the limits of time
The pathology of the warfare we live
All the consequences of what we couldn’t give

Still you’ve given me everything you could
In each line thousand points
In each move thousand turns
Never ending
Nor beginning
No pretending
No regretting
Just a change too weak to notice

In these well-known patterns of the cause and effect
In these crimes of extension
Every loss still reflects the love
Ever-changing design hides the transparency
Of the presence we share
The transition in which we live

All the life, all the Golgotha moves
Burning proud
In the end burning out
I demand nothing
But I still need it all
In reversed arrangements of the rise and fall
And of course love is marked by the etch
But the core is revealed in the stretch
In robbed mind
Raped body
In the bloo it flows
All the life
All the light
In the ash it glows

All the light
Burning deep inside
And the pure brilliance in a tired glance
Clearing on clearing and life re-appearing
The free flow and the breakthrough
To dare the all-care
The matrix of every sense of “God”


Time passes time
In the shadow of action
In its most pure form
From moment to moment
Changing all the time
Release me with the strongest bond
Eyes on eyes
Keeping me near
Taking me in
Just like a membrane all around me

Shine out
Heal inside out
Let it pour directly
You made me forget

In shape, sound and figure
A retreat so perfect in every way
From death to resurrection
And the conditions reborn
Everything had to be this way
What we gave
What we shared
What we are
In emanation on emanation

Always in me
Kept in my heart for eternal time
You made me forget


How should I ever forget the moments?
The nights without sleep
The days of fever

And from genesis to this glimpse
Movement all flecked with horizon
Passing every line again
And nevermore the same
Walking into the light

And I remember each shadow set cast upon our bodies
Cooling burning skin in the colour slide of night
Force locked up in strain
A balance containing it all
The still waters run so deep
And nothing was denied us

In all-disappearance
Without any after image
I took what I needed and gave what I could
The never-ness we surrounded ourselves with
The reasons alone and the ways we took
Shapes left behind
Reflecting survival
Degrading and fading in endless perfection

How should I ever forget the ages?
The testaments of the masses out there

In this legend that we all live
Clothed in space and placed in time
But nevermore alone or distant
In these mandalas
In the freedom of love

An immemorial origin burning deep inside me
Once upon a time in a timelessness called now
And I wanted everything
Believed in every word
In love and sweat
In face and memory
And nothing was denied me

Into pyramid shape
Light on light in reflection
From essence to reality
Element to element
Light strokes flowing like a stream of gold
Breathing the air in this all-abundance
And while the sky breaks into sight
Revealing bones and metal
How should I ever …

All my life I’ve lived for one thing
I’ve been given everything
And while I move towards the centre
I recall it all
And nothing is denied me
And nothing will be denied me

Martin Hall: Vocals, instruments

Design: Martin Hall
Photo: Ken Rivad

Martin Hall played all instruments on Relief “live” in the recording studio. Despite the sound on the record, there was no drum programming involved. The album was recorded only a few months after his mother’s suicide and the process turned out to be the most challenging he had embarked upon so far in his career.

The grand, high-tech’ish sound on the Relief record, combined with its epic, fairly bombastic lyrical contents, made the album one of Martin Hall’s most popular releases during the eighties and secured the artist a cult following in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands.

A highlight on the album remains the track “Resonance”, a song written during a stay in Cairo in 1984.