Hospital Cafeterias, an album featuring a wide range of guest vocalists and performers such as legendary Danish electronica performer Else Marie Pade and members of Efterklang, was met with a line of top ratings from the Danish music press.

With the album’s mix of classical compositions and electronic sounds, recitations, opera and music hall, the general opinion was that Martin Hall had managed to create one of the best and most complex albums in his career so far.

1. – (0:39)
2. 40 Versions of the Time Before (2:38)
3. Das Doppel Meiner Selbst (2:15)
4. No Thanks and Then Some (2:28)
5. Eden Cinema (0:59)
6. So Much for Nothing (1:35)
7. Lied Zwei (3:03)
8. P.O. (2:36)
9. Lavender Grey (3:37)
10. Tinfoil (3:36)
11. Wohnung (2:58)
12. Brother Spare a Moment (4:13)
13. Soft Tissue Damage (3:10)
14. Sob Story (3:46)
15. Wartesaal (1:56)
16. At The Lido (Helium High) (2:31)
17. A Case of Epic Needs (2:46)
18. Nætterne er så Lyse (3:09)


Falling asleep on a long distance flight
The images in the still of the night
A scent of waste
The sight of your face

A flicker of uneasiness
Will I be able to forget now?
Nurses and young girls in a row
How can I ever let you go now?

Like 40 versions of the time before
The ballerinas at my feet
The connoisseurs out in the street
Oh you mean nothing to me

Just try to tell yourself the tale again
You tell yourself it’s all the same again

The city lights that came alive
The stars that fell down from the sky
You turned around within the light
Your skin so frail and lily-white

The centre of the Western world

A glamorous confusion zipped
Upon the parting of your lips
Intangible as every breath
As inescapable as death
Oh it means nothing to me


Young, thin and already faded
A whispering shine
Boats drift along silent rivers
Fall from the sky

No thanks and then some
It’s too far away
No thanks and then some
Your sentimental waste

Clean like a face in the morning
Lips made of air
Cream-coloured light falling gently
But nobody’s there


There’s a silent craving
In the ballroom of your eyes
Like a face map of desire
I don’t know what more to find

In tomorrow’s tabloids
Down in Eden Cinema
Run around in circles
Never seem to find the place you are


I know a girl with a smile on fire
Dressing up like a memory
Never seen the things she’s hiding
Hope I’m not one of them

So much for nothing
Is all I hear her say
So much for nothing

Feeling so
Feeling sad


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?


I’ve seen your face a thousand times
I’ve seen you hide within the crowd
I feel you run within my blood
But dreams are never quite enough
Not enough

All I want to believe in
Is the look in your eyes
All I want to believe in
Is your sigh
Let me stay here forever
Let me stay here tonight
Let us stay here together
For a while

No one knows you better than me
No one knows you better than me


Her skin is like tinfoil
She glitters and breaks
Hand-written silver
The lines that she makes
If she didn’t say so
I wouldn’t believe her
If she didn’t say so
I’d feel no relief

A case of symmetry
Between her heart and me
Where I want to be
Is by her side

A case of symmetry
Between herself and me
Where I want to be
Is by her side


Die Wohnung war stockdunkel. Ich schaltete eine Lampe an. Ihre Lider waren schwer, entzündet wegen Schlafmangels; sie betrachtete mich mit äußerstem Misstrauen. Die kleinen Bewegungen ihres Kopfes erinnerten mich an diejenigen einer Kuh an einem Zaun, und ihres Blickes bestechlicher Glanz erfüllte mein Herz mit Traurigkeit.

Die Stimme war die einer Fremden. Sie sprach zu mir wie zu einem sechzigjährigem Mann, obwohl ich damals erst 37 Jahre alt war.

Ihr Ton war voller Unterstellungen, es war schwer, die Bedeutung der Wörter zu unterscheiden. Vielleicht war es der Wein, vielleicht der Inhalt.

Längst war alle Feinheit, Finesse dem Verschleiß der Gewohnheiten gewichen.


Brother spare a moment
Sister lend an ear
People show compassion
For the cross I bear
No one seems to notice
No one seems to care
For the broken-hearted
Lovers in despair

Say you feel it too
You sentimental fool
Don’t you know it’s true?
Every word I’m telling you

Brothers born as strangers
Brothers born to hate
Goaded on like creatures
Drained of any faith
How I want to free them
Set their souls alight
Turn their rage and fury
Into battle cries

Don’t you know it’s true?
Living by these bullring rules
Say you feel it too
Stranded on a ship of fools
Don’t you know it’s true?
We’re sentimental fools
Say you feel it too
Come and share my lonely view


Hide away
With somebody else by my side
It could have been anyone
It could have been you
A moment ago

Whatever you do
Whatever you say
It won’t be the same
Just won’t be the same

For someone like you
It’s all just a game
I guess it’s always the same
Whatever the stakes
It’s a reason to fail
A reason to hate


Das bemalte Gesicht mit der kessen Gangart lachte wieder laut und körnig auf. Gut versteckt in einem Kamelhaarmantel mit Perlmuttknöpfen wirkte sie gleichzeitig zerbrechlich und heiter. Das Licht im Wartesaal, braun wie Suppe, bedrückte sie offenbar, denn wie eine schuldbewusste Verrückte murmelte sie jetzt unzusammenhängendes Zeug über alles und nichts, besonders Letzteres.

Aus der Sicht eines Filmkritikers war ihre Leistung unvergleichlich.


Blue eyes, blue eyes
Blue like all of the sky
Blue eyes, blue eyes
Climb your helium high

All unbroken
Windows open
Blow you out
Climb the airwaves
On the staircase
Sliding down

Blue eyes, blue eyes
Feel the needles and pins
Blue eyes, blue eyes
Don’t know where to begin


Sad and stupid
Perverted Cupid
An undisputed case of epic needs
Parade the frozen
Conceal the broken
Just a token of my epic needs

Never thought I’d ever feel the same
No rhyme or reason will capture this feeling

She said “free all angels”
With a nervous laughter
In the still of night
Did she ask me?
Did she love me?
I guess I’ll never know

The painted smiles and the sweet delight
It’s over
Falling like rain
All over again
Still awake in the morning

“Exceptional: In the wild growing Martin Hall catalogue Hospital Cafeterias is both a concentrate as well as a climax in his production.”
( * * * * * )
Politiken (the Danish equivalent to The Guardian)

“A varied and beautiful album: Hall balances self-assured on the knife edge between decadence and humility, to a degree where you can be nothing but fascinated.”
( * * * * * )
Soundvenue (the Danish equivalent to Q Magazine)

”Best album since 2001. Outstanding.”
Information (the Danish equivalent to The Independent)

“One of the best albums in his career.”
Geiger (the Danish equivalent to Wire Magazine)

“Hall is a pioneer who still searches for the absolute limit.”
( * * * * * )

( * * * * * )

”Grandiose and generous.”
( * * * * )

”An extraordinary and spectacular experience. Wow!!!!”

”Desolaten Atmosphäre und desperaten Intensität.”

Hospital Cafeterias is a masterpiece! A beautiful masterpiece!”
Ernesto Tomasini

Andrea Pellegrini: Mezzo-soprano
Casper Clausen: vocals, keyboards
Christian Skeel: Piano
Claus Beck-Nielsen Memorial: Vocals
Else Marie Pade: Electronics
Herbert Zeichner: Voice
Johnny Stage: Guitar
Katja Andersson: Vocals
Knud Odde: Vocals
Marcel de Sade: Piano
Martin Hall: Vocals, instruments
Mikkel Meyer: Keyboards
Miss Fish: Vocals
Sara Fiil: Vocals
The Vista Dome Ensemble: Orchestra
Volkmar Zimmermann: Guitar

Design: Kenneth Schultz
Photo: Territorium

Hospital Cafeterias has been described as a salon record – as a thunderstorm of clashes, ideas and words that do not nervously seek recognition or intelligibility. Several songs and recitations take place in German and classical score music plays a central role throughout the record.

As Kim Skotte wrote in Politiken (the Danish equivalent to The Guardian) where the record received five out of six stars:

“Tableaux staged as flickering soundscapes. A kind of soulful drunkenness flickers on the eardrum via ghost phones, European train drumming and electronica crackling as today’s ectoplasm. It starts with a lonely voice and it ends with one. Voices in the night desperately seek each other, but the room is large and the hospital corridors endless.”

The first video made for the album was “P.O.” where Martin Hall collaborates with Danish electronica legend Else Marie Pade (85 years old at the time).

The video, however, was banned by YouTube and removed from the site a few days after its premiere due to its “offensive nature” – something that in hindsight might seem a a bit ironic, especially since current videos featuring executions of civilians and standard sexist pop behaviour caused no censorship.

Hospital Cafeterias features a line of guest vocalists and other contributors on each separate track. The index goes like this:

1. “ – ” (Anonymous)
2. “40 Versions of the Time Before” (Martin Hall feat. Claus Beck-Nielsen Memorial)
3. “Das Doppel Meiner Selbst” (Claus Beck-Nielsen Memorial feat. Christian Skeel)
4. “No Thanks and Then Some” (Martin Hall feat. Mikkel Meyer)
5. “Eden Cinema” (Andrea Pellegrini)
6. “So Much for Nothing” (Martin Hall feat. Claus Beck-Nielsen Memorial)
7. “Lied Zwei” (Sara Fiil feat.Volkmar Zimmermann and Mikkel Meyer)
8. “P.O.” (Katja Andersson feat. Else Marie Pade)
9. “Lavender Grey” (Knud Odde)
10. “Tinfoil” (Martin Hall feat. Christian Skeel)
11. “Wohnung” (Herbert Zeichner feat. Casper Clausen)
12. “Brother Spare a Moment” (Andrea Pellegrini)
13. “Sob Story” (Martin Hall feat. Miss Fish and Mikkel Meyer)
14. “Soft Tissue Damage” (The Vista Dome Ensemble)
15. “Wartesaal” (Herbert Zeichner feat. Johnny Stage)
16. “At The Lido (Helium High)” (Andrea Pellegrini feat. Claus Beck-Nielsen Memorial)
17. “A Case of Epic Needs” (Martin Hall feat. Marcel de Sade)
18. “Nætterne er så Lyse” (Anonymous)

The record is written, arranged, conducted and produced by Martin Hall except as follows:

“Das Doppel Meiner Selbst“: Lyrics written by Claus Beck-Nielsen Memorial, piano sequence by Christian Skeel. Arranged by Martin Hall. “No Thanks and Then Some“, “Sob Story“ + “Nætterne er så Lyse“: Electronical post-production made by Mikkel Meyer. “So Much for Nothing“ + “Tinfoil“: Orchestral arrangement written by Christian Skeel. “Lied Zwei“: Guitar arrangement written by Volkmar Zimmermann, vocal interpretation by Sara Fiil. Original recording made by Peter Helms, post-production and remix by Mikkel Meyer. “P.O.“: Modulations performed by Else Marie Pade. Arranged by Martin Hall. “Lavender Grey“: Original song written by Knud Odde, orchestral arrangement by Martin Hall. “Wohnung“: Music written by Casper Clausen, mixed by Mads Brauer. “Brother Spare a Moment“, “Lavender Grey“ + “Wartesaal“: Guitar by Johnny Stage. “Soft Tissue Damage”: Written by Martin Hall and Ole Hansen, arranged by Ole Hansen. “Wartesaal“: Music written by Johnny Stage. “A Case of Epic Needs“: Piano arrangement by Marquis Marcel de Sade, orchestral arrangement written by Martin Hall. “Wohnung“ + “Wartesaal“: German translation made by Herbert Zeichner.

The video accompanying “40 Versions of the Time Before” is shot at a soirée held at Marquis Marcel de Sade’s residency on the night of the release: