Friday 30 November 2018

Various Artists ‎– "Close Circuit Connection II" (Minimal Maximal ‎– MM012) 2013

Of course theres's always gonna be a volume two isn't there?
This one expands beyond the borders of Belgium and includes some electronic acts from North America to the mix.namely Front Line assembly and Numb from Vancouver. Crash Course In science from Philadelphia. Die Form plus Trisomie 21 from France, and Die Krupps from Germany.Then we got Click Clack from the UK, Borghesia from Yugoslavia,Twice A Man of Sweden. Of course there has to be an obligatory Swiss act, from the classically swiss named Carlos Peron.
In fact there are zero Belgians on here, so that kind of defeats the object of this exercise in exploring the Belgian fascination for synth duo's and general cold wave stuff in the early to mid-eighties.
None the less, this is an excellent compilation in the classsic hard electronic Belgian EBM stylee.


A1 –Click Click - Nube
A2 –Die Form - Tecknoslaves
A3 –Crash Course In Science - In Your Own Backyard
A4 –Numb - Push It
A5 –Borghesia - Secret Affair No.4
B1 –Front Line Assembly - Resuraction
B2 –Twice A Man - Cloud Sky Damage Version One
B3 –Die Krupps - Tod & Teufel (Live)
B4 –Carlos Perón - A Dirty Song - Long Version
B5 –Trisomie 21 - Youth Called To Edge Remix

Thursday 29 November 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Close Circuit Connection" (Minimal Maximal ‎– MM004) 2011

That should be the end of all the Belgian posts you would think?
No,no, nooooo....there's more, lots more!??
If you can stand it, here's some more Belgian New Beat compilations. This one spans the years 1982-86, and is choc-a-bloc with lots of hard electronics from the pre-EBM era, by quite a few of the guilty parties who invented said medium.


A1 –Insekt - Subway89
A2 –Parade Ground - Entertain Me
A3 –à;GRUMH... - S-B
A4 –Vita Noctis - My Favorite Waste Of Time
A5 –Suicide Commando - Batman's Crime
A6 –A Split-Second - Hunger V2
B1 –The Klinik - Belfast
B2 –The Arch - Do It On Friday
B3 –Luc Van Acker - When The Good Turns To Bad
B4 –Liquid G. - Regression
B5 –The Neon Judgement - Sweet Revenge (Live)

Less Dance / The N.U.E. ‎– "Two Gether" (Broken Records ‎– BR 1001) 1982

Ahhh, its nice to share innit?
Even Belgian Cold Wavers have that Darwinian trait to share for mutual benefit.As with this shared mini-album from 1982. 
The trouble for side 'A's 'Less Dance' is that The N.U.E. (New Underground Entertainment), are obviously vastly superior to their chilly,but popier cousins on side one.
Less Dance could have been one of those early eighties bands who hovered around number 40 in the charts and then sank without trace, like 'B-Movie' or ,yes them again, Classix Nouveaux.There's a fine line between classic Cold Wave and failed chart dross.
The N.U.E. could have been on Factory Records, giving Section 25 or The Wake a run for their money,or rather lack of money. Possibly good, one must say.


A1 –Less Dance - There's A Will
A2 –Less Dance - Lonely In A Woman
A3 –Less Dance - She Wished

B1 –The N.U.E. - A Funeral Birthday
B2 –The N.U.E. - Broken Window
B3 –The N.U.E. - The Days Arrive

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Suicide ‎– "Live 1977-1978" (Blast First Petite ‎– PTYT 011) 2008

I dunno what you lot have done to deserve this, but Here's a six cd box set of Suicide live performances from 1977 to 1978!?
Starting off in their native New York City, where they experienced no riots, to Europe where they seemed to invoke a need in the european audience to smash things up and try to kill our favourite minimal synth-punk duo?
Like the non-interference directive in Star Trek, to avoid influencing primitive alien cultures.Sometimes it was necessary for Kirk,Bones and Spock to intervene and stear the locals away from bad habits and towards a more progressive way of life. This is what Suicide did in Belgium,appearing like aliens themselves,beaming down to civilise the 'Rock' world by ditching all rock paraphernalia .As soon as Vega and Rev interfered in Belgian affairs,that country never looked backwards.Emulating a solid state Helen of Troy, Suicide were the faces that launched a thousand minimal electronic duo's, especially in the low countries,and especially in Belgium.
Dunno how many versions of 'Rocket USA' you can stand, but it tends to take on another form the more you listen to it.....and I should know, I've listened to the whole of The Stooges Funhouse Sessions, and this is an equally surreal experience. 
The previous post had a version of the Brussels riot show on it, but here its been 'remastered' back into Mono, and seems to include an inferior version of the "21½ Minutes In Berlin" concert from 30th july(it says june here) 1978, including bleeped out naughty click here to complete your instant Suicide live collection.


DISC 1 - 1977 NYC 46:52
CBGB Sep 29 1977 24:43

1-1.1 96 Tears Intro
1-1.2 Ghostrider
1-1.3 Rocket USA
1-1.4 Cheree
1-1.5 Jonny
1-1.6 Frankie Teardrop
CBGB Dec 3 1977 Set 2 22:09
1-2.1 Ghostrider
1-2.2 Jesus Vega
1-2.3 Frankie Teardrop
1-2.4 Put A Little Love In Your Heart
DISC 2 - 1978 NYC 71:21
The Palladium Jan 7 1978 21:45
2-1.1 Rocket USA
2-1.2 Cheree
2-1.3 Dance
2-1.4 Frankie Teardrop
Max's Jan 13 1978 22:55
2-2.1 Ghostrider
2-2.2 Rocket USA
2-2.3 Cheree
2-2.4 Dance
2-2.5 96 Tears
2-2.6 Frankie
CBGB Feb 3 1978 26:41
2-3.1 Harlem
2-3.2 Ghostrider
2-3.3 Keep Your Dreams
2-3.4 Dance
2-3.5 Frankie Teardrop
DISC 3 - 1978 Belgium/France 70:42
Brussels June 16 1978 23:44
3-1.1 Ghost Rider
3-1.2 Rocket USA
3-1.3 Cheree
3-1.4 Dance
3-1.5 Frankie Teardrop
Paris Olympia June 18 1978 46:58
3-2.1 Ghostrider
3-2.2 Rocket USA
3-2.3 Cheree
3-2.4 Dance
3-2.5 Frankie Teardrop
3-2.6 Backstage
DISC 4 - 1978 Germany 68:29
Hamburg Audiomax June 28 1978 21:26
4-1.1 Rocket USA
4-1.2 Cheree
4-1.3 Harlem
Berlin Kant Kino/Neue Welt June 30 1978 22:42
4-2.1 Ghostrider
4-2.2 Rocket USA
4-2.3 Cheree
4-2.4 Harlem
4-2.5 96 Tears
Berlin Kant Kino/Neue Welt June 30 1978 Set 2 24:21
4-3.1 Ghostrider
4-3.2 Rocket USA
4-3.3 96 Tears
4-3.4 Dance
4-3.5 Harlem
DISC 5 - 1978 UK 64:17
London Music Machine July 24 1978 25:37
5-1.1 Rocket USA
5-1.2 Dance
5-1.3 Harlem
5-1.4 Cheree
5-1.5 Mr. Ray
"Our Price" Radio Ad 1978 1:09
5-2 Our Price Radio Ad
Erics Liverpool July 29 1978 31:12
5-3.1 Rocket USA
5-3.2 Cheree
5-3.3 Ghostrider
5-3.4 96 Tears
Erics Pt. 2 July 29 1978 6:19
5-4 Cum Ahead Frankie Teardrop
DISC 6 - 1978 NYC 43:35
Maxs August 25 1978 43:35
6-1.1 Ghostrider
6-1.2 Rocket USA
6-1.3 Cheree
6-1.4 Mr. Ray
6-1.5 Jonny
6-1.6 Harlem

Monday 26 November 2018

Suicide ‎– "21½ Minutes In Berlin / 23 Minutes In Brussels" (Red Star Records ‎– FRANKIE 1) 1978

As Snowy Red namechecked Suicide on his first album, its fair to point out the enormous influence Suicide had on certain members of the Belgian audience from that night in 1978 that prodiced the '23 Minutes over Brussels' bootleg,which ended in a Riot.Headliner Elvis Costello,was apparently none too pleased at the treatment of his support act,so played a very short and bad tempered set,causing the infamous riot.
This is how Vega and Rev were treated at most of their concert appearances,including your scribes first concert experience in Leicester 1978, supporting the Clash,and The Specials(Then called the Coventry Specials).They barely lasted twenty minutes under the shower of missles,but I thought this is what Punk is all about isn't it? Facing up to and rallying against the accepted norms,forcing change by confrontation.And Suicide put their lives on the line for their art.
The format of two blokes with a synth and a drum machine fronted by a vocalist, became normal in Belgium.The seeds Suicide sowed that night, eventually grew into New Beat, and EBM.
The Brussels gig is the most famous, but the recording made in Berlin a month later is the most listenable,with plenty of analogue echo feedback enhancing Vega's Elvis impressions and screams.
A classic act captured at their height.

A side recorded live at Neue Welt, Berlin 30 July 1978.
B side recorded live at the Ancienne Belgique, Brussels 16.6.78. 


21½ Minutes In Berlin

A1 Ghost Rider
A2 Rocket USA
A3 Cheree
A4 Harlem
A5 96 Tears

23 Minutes In Brussels
B1 Ghost Rider
B2 Rocket USA
B3 Cheree
B4 Dance
B5 Frankie Teardrop

Jandek ‎– "Houston Friday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0825) 2017

Still in Houston for Jandek Monday, this one was on a friday.
Jandek croons over an improvised medley of iron curtain arthouse animation music. Lots of minimal tinkling on a keyboards 'vibes' setting, probably by Sheila Smith methinks.The music is hardly there in fact. I can just imagine a leading contemporary dance coreographer salivating at the prospects of squandering their arts council grant on creating a modern ballet for this,and it being devoured by an audience of bespectacled ,shaven headed, art critics,nodding knowingly to each other......if only they really knew?


1-1 These Things 13:45
1-2 Cure For The Toolbox 8:22
1-3 Turn To This 7:51
1-4 Wild Places 12:37
2-1 Next Monday 7:35
2-2 One And Only 6:57
2-3 Where I Came 6:13
2-4 Black Cotton Chair 8:40
2-5 It Burned Down Nice 4:42
2-6 My Body 5:06
2-7 Edge Of Time 5:56

Sunday 25 November 2018

Snowy Red ‎– "Vision" (Soundwork ‎– 12003) 1984

I'm not one for an artist repeating itself (yes,i said 'It'), but rather than moving 'forwards' while moving 'backwards', isn't it better to just stop, or change your name.
This album has all the horrific hallmarks of mid-eighties pop, the slack simmons drums, slap bass, soul inflicted vocals, DX-7 style digital chord play, backing singers, brass sections,over used TR808 handclaps, funky guitar....the list goes on. Its like Snowy drafted in Classix Nouveaux as his backing band. 
In the desperate search for that international 'Hit', it seems that Mikey Mike threw the baby out with the bathwater and refilled the tub with syrup,and sump oil. Its so far down the scale of bad that his previous work,which was so far up the scale of 'good', is almost cancelled out. No wonder our Mikey disappeared for a decade or so.
But, perversely, I do enjoy this kind of clueless cheese in the same way as I enjoy easy listening; there's something incredibly strange about it,and it is forever stuck in a time and space that can never, could never, be repeated. 
I told y'all that i dig A Flock Of Seagulls yeah? I frighteningly even like Classix Nouveaux!? My exceedingly guilty secret is well and truly out!


A1 The Long Run 5:13
A2 Reputation 2:52
A3 Breakdown 4:06
A4 Sayonara 4:55
A5 Back To Reputation 0:48
B1 Torn Curtain 4:19
B2 Frail Memories 4:41
B3 Torpedo Good Luck 3:49
B4 Vision In Cairo 6:35

Saturday 24 November 2018

Snowy Red - "1982 - 84 B-Sides Unreleased & Demos" (2012)

It all went wrong for Snowy,as it did for most of us, around 1984, through the combination of shite new technology and recruiting a band of 'other people'???
The first half of this disc is fine, like normal classic Snowy Red minimalism.Then ,after Megadeath,we get all those pregnant spaces filled up with some funky synth chords,and awful 80's style sampling!!? He starts trying to sing properly like he wanted to be Howard Jones or something worse...if thats possible!?
Obviously, commercial pressures had leeched in from some lurking capitalist in the camp. It was at this moment that the ice caps started to melt and the temperature rose beyond the critical point of no return. Its happening to the Earth, and it happened to Snowy red.
Consequently, the third album, is chart orientated dross packed full of things like digital FM synthesis and slap bass; worse still, he recruited a Band!?
Nevertheless, the first five tracks on here are great! Everyone burns out at some stage, then we fade away.....hopefully in some cases.You gotta know when to quit, and Snowy should have quit round about track 5.

1982 - 84 / B-Sides / Unreleased / & / Demos:

1 Breakdown
2 So Low
3 Red Skies
4 Lies In Your Eyes
5 Megadeath
6 Psychoscratch
7 Back In My Room
8 Reputation
9 The Long Run
10 Torpedo Good Luck

Friday 23 November 2018

Snowy Red - "The Demo Tape" (1981)

As with most demo tapes, they are usually the best thing any artist ever does,and they should just stop right there and get a proper job.
I wouldn't say this demo is the best thing Snowy Red ever did, but its very close to it.Just when you thought it couldn't get anymore minimal, it does. The gaps of existential angst have become crevasses in the glacier, opening out into a dead ocean below the collapsing ice cliffs of frigid electronic beauty.Its chilling allure only rivaled by Suicides haunting 'First rehearsal Tapes'.

1981 The Demo Tape:

1 Sinkin' Down
2 Blood Blood Blood
3 Maud Is Dead
4 Movin' In Twilight
5 Wait For Me
6 Don't Loose Control
7 The Wild Boys

Thursday 22 November 2018

Snowy Red ‎– "The Right To Die" (Dirty Dance ‎– 12002) 1982

Snowy Red aka Marcel Thiel aka Mikey Mike from Belg-Punkers Chainsaw, tells us about the 'Right to Die'. Which is ironic because our Snowy has ,in fact, exercised this very right in 2009, and left this mortal coil to sing with the choir invisible. He is an ex-synthesist, or is he just resting?(Parrot Sketch reference).
Snowy/Marcel/Mikey is, however, Immortal, mainly due to this LP of cold wave electronic minimalism.
We are all biological machines,so it makes sense that to accurately convey the Human condition in the medium of music,machines are the natural tool;in this case the machines being synthesizers.
If i'm allowed to quote Wolfgang from the comments section of Snowy's first album,in reference to track 7 "lies in your Eyes": "Is this the perfect translation of existential angst into music?"(he thought to himself in his native german)......well I reckon it is anyway. Cold electronics have a ruthlessness that emulates natures pitiless path to ensure that nothing gets out of here alive.Our souls appear from nothingness, alone, and we all make the return journey equally alone.Together with our fellow machines,we flesh out this loneliness as best we can to avert malfunction,trapped inside our meat cages.Struggling to make sense of our brief tenure on this lonely rock.Like those super computers/robots in Star Trek that Captain Kirk destroys by arguing simple logic loops.....what is our purpose?...but we have no purpose but to discover our purpose,therefore we do have a purpose. this is purposelessness....does not compute...error ERROR!
This is why we invented GOD.Simple answers to complex questions....just like this simple music is some of the most complex ever produced.Mozart really did use too many notes.


A1 Euroshima (Wardance) 4:22
A2 Nowhere 3:40
A3 I'm Hurt 2:40
A4 Never Alive 3:12
A5 Relax 4:51
B1 Opium 4:07
B2 Lies In Your Eyes 7:45
B3 Madman 3:58
B4 The Right To Die 4:35

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Snowy Red ‎– "Snowy Red" (Dirty Dance ‎– 12 001) 1981

An absolute classic of the proto-Belgian New Beat era is former Chainsaw bassist's first foray into minimal synth Coldwave, with this eponymously titled debut from 1981.
This is the Belgians equivalent of John Foxx's seminal Metamatic album from the previous year,but slightly less Pop orientated.
The wide snowy spaces between the sparce instrumentation and emotionless voice serve this as a dish colder than well prepared revenge.This glacial functionality (apologies for the dreadful americanism) holds the key to the frightening horror of our existence,like your last thoughts floating in the overwhelming vastness of an empty oblivion.
"Baby Tonight" is dedicated to 'Suicide'(the influential synth duo not the self-destructive act), who were clearly a major influence in Belgium.Especially after the infamous "23 minutes Over Brussels" gig supporting Elvis Costello,which ended in the traditional riot.
Talking about suicide(the self-destructive act not the influential synth duo), track one offers an answer to defeat terrorism forever?......see the funny side of suicide bombers and the pointlessness of their absurb career paths would become clearly apparent to even the stupidist of the morons who want do it.Unless, they are even stupider than we think,which they undoubtedly are;controversial but worth a try surely?


A1 How Funny Are Those Explosions
A2 Don't Lose Control
A3 Still Human ?
A4 Maud Is Dead
A5 Deep Desire
B1 The Wild Boys
B2 Sinkin' Down
B3 Baby Tonight
B4 Blood Blood Blood
B5 Come On Dance

DOWNLOAD a small avalanche of snowy red HERE!

Tuesday 20 November 2018

à;GRUMH... ‎– "By The Phone" (Titicaca Records ‎– TTKK 001) 1982

Try asking for a record by à;GRUMH in yer local record store and see the blank faces of the staff before they ask you to leave the premises.
Band names like this are the kiss of death commercially, so that immeadiately makes this couple of Belgian experimentalists 'kool'?.....well maybe not......Kool is for Fools,and these chaps definitely ain't fools.
This cassette is their first recorded appearence,and is nothing like the stuff they went onto produce in the rest of the eighties. Rather than the aggressive electronic body music  they went on to make, this is a kind of Industrial mash up of material reorded over the phone....hence the title. Don't put your leather bikers cap and pvc shorts to dance to this one.....although I'm sure the members of  à;GRUMH did, judging by the rest of their works' themes of agressive Homosexuality,which in itself was quite innovative for its day, pre-AIDS'n'all.


Side A - "Oreille"
Side B - "Ecouter"

DOWNLOAD by the internet HERE!

A Split-Second ‎– "Stained Impressions"(A Split - Second Self-released) 1985

What? Another Belgian minimal electronic Duo?
The beats are hard,the synths are phat, and the vocals are a curious combination of machismo and the self-conscious. Holding back as if not to disturb mum and dad downstairs.
A Split-Second went on to have something of a career in the EBM epoch,and are still at it today!?


1 Resignation
2 Night Closes In (I)
3 Hunger
4 Fade To Black (III)
5 Teargas And Champagne
6 Neurobeat
7 Short Cut
8 Stained Impressions (II)
9 Eargasm
10 Cold Life In The Brainbox
11 The Strip

Monday 19 November 2018

Jandek ‎– "Houston Thursday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0818) 2016

Jandek Monday stays in Mr Smiths home town of Houston for Jandek Thursday, where we find our hero playing some short improvised Avant Rock numbers for his public.
Well,I think Jandek is good, even if he seems to have sported a Donald Trump hair do and beard combination at some stage in his long life.
One of my bestest favourite groups of all time are 'God Is My Co-Pilot', and Jandek in Houston on Thrsday July 12th 2012 reminds one very much of said group. Short improvised songs that fall apart, both in rehearsal and in the actual concert. With Sterling the  'Representative' on discordant,distorted electric guitar partnered by Sheilas stream of consciousness singing which largely inspires above a largely uninspiring rhythm section of a couple of uncredited found musicians ;who plod along in a standard alt-rock style,juxtaposing the generic with the unclassifiable.
This could be my favourite 21st century Jandek album?......until next week at least.


1 You're Here 2:01
2 Louder 1:53
3 Take It Off 1:38
4 Garage Apartment 2:57
5 Oh Yeah 1:44
6 My Problem 1:20
7 My Heart Beats 1:37
8 Insane Is Too Much 1:32
9 Just A Rehearsal 1:23

10 My Letters 2:41
11 Emergency 2:28
12 Your Designs 1:45
13 Dallas Bitches 2:01
14 On The Metro 2:23
15 Walk Talk Leave 2:53
16 Asked For A Refund 3:20
17 Can't Hear You 2:24
18 Floor 2:32
19 Chit Chat 2:24
20 Sit On Your Feet 2:25
21 Not Think 2:51
22 Books That I Read 3:03
23 Beholden To You 3:32
24 People Will Talk 3:40
25 Galveston 2:48
26 Glass Boxes 10:00

Sunday 18 November 2018

De Brassers ‎– "Levend" (Bras Tapes ‎– 001) 1981

More Factory/Benelux style Joy Division forgery from De Brassers. Sounding not unlike a JD live bootleg recording,minus Ian Curtis's desperate baritone naturally.Also its sung in Flemish,which I can't recall Curtis ever stooping to.
Joy Division ain't gonna record anymore records ,so this stuff and their cohorts are the nearest thing we're all gonna get to the real thing. Kinda like a Joy Division Nuggets series......Now there's an idea?
It says on Discogs:"De Brassers are one of the most notorious bands in Belgian new wave/punk history".....really? What on earth did these chaps get up to then? Naughty boys.Shocking.
They still exist apparently?? Dad rocking for post-nostalgic kids who missed out on rocks golden era.


A1 Neo 2
A2 Twijfels
A3 Eruit
A4 Kontrole
A5 Neo 5 (Sick In Your Mind)
A6 De Grote Vergissing
A7 Neo 4 (Murder)
A8 Neo 1 (Rise And Fall)
B1 Neo 3
B2 Pijn
B3 Neo 6 (Instrumental)
B4 En Toen Was Er Niets Meer
B5 Neo 7
B6 Gesprek
B7 Interview
B8 Experiment

Saturday 17 November 2018

Secret Life ‎– "Secret Life" (Secret Life Self-Released) 1984

They looked like the Belgian Duran Duran, but sound like 1st Album Modern English crossed with B-league Factory Records also-rans like The Wake.
The chanteuse sings in a strange ,but dramatic,,throaty pseudo operatic female baritone; which is at once laughable, yet compelling. I imagine she took herself very very seriously, which is almost obligatory for any Goth wave group worth their salt.
The flaccid Martin Hannett facimile production is perfect.Largely cymbal-less drums emulate a drum machine wrapped in several yards of loft insulation. Acoustically sterile basslines hang in the dank air, only to be scythed through by spidery guitar melodies to shed some dull light into the echo free claustrophobia........ooooooh! I could write like this all day.
Yep I love production values like this.Throw that bloody reverb in the garbage can.
Fear not, Secret Life are not New Romantics,or futurists...I think.....but I can imagine them all owning a Classix Nouveaux LP, or two?.....and rhetorically speaking, what's wrong with that!!?


Friday 16 November 2018

Siglo XX ‎– "Siglo XX" (Straatlawaai Prod.) 1981

Siglo XX was a Belgian cold wave band from Genk, who remained active somehow, from 1978-1990.
Like the Mick Green (Pirates), Wilko Johnson(Dr Feelgood),Andy Gill (Gang of Four) progression for fractured lead/rhythm guitar*; here we have a fine example of the Jean Jacques Burnel (Stranglers), Peter Hook (Warsaw etc) and millions of doomladen youths all over the planet who wanted to the lead bass player in Joy Division,or at the very least Section 25..(inhale)...progression?
I dunno who the bass player was, but a couple of the group managed to acquire the very same army surplus raincoat (see photo below) that Ian Curtis wore in several of his iconic photographs from back in the day.
Siglo XX with raincoats,and what seems like a couple of members who wouldn't let punk rock go....too much personell in this band or wot?

Lead Bass aside,we have two dueling Bernard Albrechts,and some atmospheric synthesizers.Which adds up to some charming amateur post-punk dark wave.

The vocalist is no Ian Curtis however, and sounds rather self-conscious...something one couldn't accuse Curtis himself of in the slightest.
They went on to record several LP's, none of which I have heard...but I like this post Joy Division effort a lot.In fact, I like any of these adorable JD Clones, of which Siglo XX were just one of a cast of thousands.

(* unfortunately the Mick Green progression led ultimately to the supremely awful Red Hot Chilli careful what you start with your genius kids!)

A1 Whispers
A2 Fall
A3 Obsession
A4 Future
A5 Factory
A6 Calculated Mistakes
A7 Good News
B1 Progress
B2 Caraïbian Nightmares

Thursday 15 November 2018

Vita Noctis ‎– "Much Money Good Boy No Money Good-Bye" ( Camera Obscura ‎– K012) 1985

What was that?!....a sense of humour on open display????...laugh laugh cuckle chuckle.....several black stars on the Goth naughty list for these ,usually, suitably miserable Belgians.
Amusing,tee-hee-Hee, but socially accurate title aside.Vita Noctis deliver the same acoustically, and emotionally, dead dark wave as featured on their debut cassette from the previous year. I say acoustically dead, but I do sense a touch of amp spring reverb on the vocals this time around. It still sounds like the same entry level drum machine, which the concensus of opinion suggests to be a Boss Dr.Rhythm DR110(?)......a fine piece of equipment that sounds like a drum machine instead of trying to emulate a real drum kit(turns out it was a TR808 after all!). Of course, later this same year entry level Digital models started penetrating the basement level of bedroom musicians everywhere, and electronic instruments started to try and sound like the stuff they were designed to replace. A keyboard sounding like a crap trumpet is not my idea of technological advancement.Why not just get a trumpet, and have your synth sound like a synth?.....which of course we now do in the 21st century.


A1 Hade
A2 These Lies
A3 On A Day Like This
A4 Once In A Lifetime
B1 The Last Delay
B2 Against The Rule
B3 Expose
B4 New Image
B5 Execution

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Vita Noctis ‎– "In The Face Of ... Death" (Vita Noctis Self-released) 1984

Classic bedroom Dark Wave from Belgium on the cusp of 1985.
That drum machine is a classic sound that will live forever.
I'll hazard a guess at it being a later version of a boss Dr Rhythm;the one that came with its own padded silver case.At least, I hopeit is, but i suspect its just a TR808.
It says,'Recorded at the Noctis studio with 2amps and a cassettedeck' other words in the Noctis/Kips brothers bedroom, with girlfriend Martine reporting for duty.
The total lack of reverb, echo or any ambiance at all is impressive to say the least.All wet noise absorbed by the duvets and soft furnishings.The vocals,delivered in a strong Belgian accent, sound at times as if some drunk demon is on lead vocals, enunciating the slurred words backwards, like some hidden message on a Queen album.At times it even sounds like they had forgotten their lines but couldn't be arsed to do it kind of stuff.
This is the sound of acoustically dead teenage depression from the Belgian suburbs......wouldn't you be depressed too?


A1 Intro
A2 Pitch-Dark
A3 Introductary Works
A4 Hade
B1 Civilisation
B2 Hearing Noises
B3 These Lies
B4 Cleaning Day

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Neon Judgement ‎– "TV Treated" (Kleo) 1982

Dirk Da Davo and TB Frank were,and probably still are, Belgian proto-EBM duo The Neon Judgement....if you're interested?
Never really been curious as to who were in the groups I liked, just between me and you.
The individuals in a group,unless the group is an individual (eg Lydon/SexPistols),are rarely bigger than the team;and if they are bigger than the team you end up with an ego-driven prick like Lydon in The Pistols,or, Ronaldo at Real Madrid;and who wants to watch Real Ma-fucking-drid?
The Residents tick all the boxes in these areas, both in their rejection of the cult of personality, and in their sublimely abstrct lyrics.All this has been ruined by the internet ruthlessly outing the Identity of anyone slightly anonymous,including,unfortunately, The Residents.
Also, one never really investigated the lyrics either, especially those lyrics that were projected clearly as if the projector thought they had something important or clever to say to the projectee,in other words us ordinary folk.There are obvious exceptions to this of course, but The Neon Judgement aren't one of them.The voice is important only as an instrument, that can add emotion and that essential 'Human error' element to music, especially to electronic music.
TV Treated, is actually the first classic 'Judgement' track,surfing comfortably on the hiss on this early cassette EP. I suspect that  after this they started singing more clearly,printing lyrics, and recording in Hi-Fidelity;lots of pop star nonsense like that.It happens to the best of us.
I wouldn't really know, because I've never really been one to buy an artists records after the first couple of releases either!
...and yes...there are exceptions to that too!
I could download some later Judgement works for free from the same evil internet that has destroyed the myths and career paths of music forever!....but....Nahhhhh.
Leave me with my fantasy.


A1 TV Treated
A2 Stay Mad
B1 Sister Sue
B2 On My Own

Monday 12 November 2018

Neon Judgement ‎– "Suffering" (Kleo) 1981

Early proto-EBM-style outing by The Neon Judgement.

The combination of aggressive electronics and mechanical drum box rhythms, which defined Belgian Minimal Wave, laid the foundations of the Electronic Body Music movement of the mid-80's. Of which The Neon Judgement and Absolute Body Control were among the earliest exponents.They would get 'better', but this cassette exposes their roots as almost fully formed.


A1 Factory Walk
A2 Sweet Revenge
A3 Harem
B1 The Machine
B2 Army Green (WO III)
B3 Schyzophrenic Freddy

Jandek ‎– "Houston Tuesday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0828) 2018

Jandek Monday, Houston Tuesday.Houston we have a problem.....or rather, Jandek has a problem?
Hmmmm, seems that Sterling has ran out of pictures of himself?
I can't imagine that this scene is of anywhere around Houston,but you never know do you? In fact we'll probably never know...period.
It reminds one of those pictures The Moors Murderers had hidden in their locker at Manchester Picadilly station; the ones of an untraceable shallow grave of a missing child,or perhaps the future site of Jandeks final resting place?
These lovely scenes of nature accompany Jandek and Corwood's most recent release by the representative....well,at least at the time of going to press.....there might be another one next week,which would be completely within Jandekian expectations.
This double CD is from a live appearance in his home town of Houston on October 20th 2015.Jandek's on Electric guitar this time,whacking out some improvised meanderings with muse,Sheila, and three local musicans.
This minimal portrayal of the manimal is actually great stuff,it's sophisticated,and almost qualifies the representatives recent output(piano stuff excepted) to be 'Insider Music'?
The outsider may have been accepted by the Cool people (pass me that douchbag?!),but his first 25 years of outstanding outsideness stands as a monolithic cenotaph for those who have fallen along the way in the continuing battle against normality.


1-1 The Wary Stalk 8:38
1-2 In All The Days 6:38
1-3 Just Tell Me 14:54
1-4 Absent Minded 9:05
1-5 Havoc 7:11
2-1 The Story 6:18
2-2 What I Want 7:58
2-3 Everyday You 9:20
2-4 Magic 6:58
2-5 Transfusion 9:23

Sunday 11 November 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Koude Golven - A Collection Of Belgian Cold Wave & Punk 1979-1984" ( OnderStroom Records ‎– OS10) 2010

Its as if the Soul and Blues explosion of the sixties never happened. This cold wind of emotionally bankrupt post-punk is totally devoid of any discernable 'Black' influence whatsoever.
This music is so White, it could be a washing powder that promises sheets with the blue whiteness,whiter than white.
The only emotions expressed are bitter hopelessness(if that counts as an emotion?), and the only tears shed are born from miserable self-pity.
In an age where the average male is encouraged to mimick the female emotional spectrum or be labelled a brutal potential rapist whose only emotion is anger, and should never be left alone with children! Where the 'strong silent type' is now thought of as in desperate need of counseling, or even sentenced to decades of psycho-therapy, only to find out he's actually a normal male of the human animal species following a hard wired male behavoural pattern!? No the male is not a malfunctioning woman, he/it's just 'Different' to most ladies.
I notice that all this miserable Cold Wave stuff is made almost exclusively by these same white malfunctioning female males...albeit Malfunctioning Belgian Female males.'Non-Females',the future word for 'Men', will no doubt be the Collins dictionary 'word of the Year' 2019........excuse me a moment while I have a little cry in the corner, and apologize for my ancestors starting all those wars. 


1–Company Of State - Discipline
2–Company Of State - Dark
3–Company Of State - Jamomine Man
4–Siglo XX - The Naked And The Death
5–Siglo XX - Individuality
6–Siglo XX - Obsession
7–Gruppenbild - Tranquility
8–Gruppenbild - Onbereikbaar
9–Gruppenbild - Maatschappij
10–Sovjet War - Guns For Fun
11–Sovjet War - Just A Story
12–Sovjet War - It Became A Problem
13–The N.U.E - A Funeral Birthday
14–The N.U.E - Broken Window
15–The N.U.E - The Days Arrive
16–De Brassers - Kontrole
17–De Brassers - En Toen Was Er Niets Meer
18–De Brassers - Twijfels
19–Struggler - Night Fever
20–Struggler - My Heart
21–The Cultural Decay - Brave New World
22–The Cultural Decay - End Of The Corridor
23–Suspects - This Reality
24–Suspects - Bombs
25–Day After - Ticking Away
26–Day After - Civilization
27–Day After - Desert Of Time

Saturday 10 November 2018

Various Artists ‎– "Tu Quoque, Fili Mi" (Cauchy Productions) 1987

A rather strange Julius Caeser's assasination concept compilation from the home of the Cabbage comp's, Cauchy Productions of Belgium.
This one has a distinct Industrial flavour. 
Hassan I. Sabbah would approve of the concept, so I suggest there is a wider target for this cassettes' themes of betrayal, and political ruthlessness.
When Caesar recognized his adopted son Brutus as being one of his murderers, his famous last words were "Tu Quoque, Fili Mi" (You Too, My Son). Adapted for modern day language by 'No Unauthorised' with their track "Toi Aussi, Mon Fils De Pute" other words, 'You too my son of a whore?'....bloody potty mouths spoil everything don't they?

A1 –Hypnobeat - Sectio Caesarea
A2 –Bene Gesserit - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
A3 –Weird Scenes - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
A4 –Maniacs - Ook Gij (Live)
A5 –Costes Cassette - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
A6 –Modern Art - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
A7 –X-Ray Pop - A Coups De Glabostotok
A8 –The Twins - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
B1 –No Unauthorized - Toi Aussi, Mon Fils De Pute
B2 –Smersh - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
B3 –Urbain Autopsy - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
B4 –Det Wiehl - Rome
B5 –The Haters - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
B6 –De Fabriek - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
B7 –Rambo's Fist - Tu Quoque, Fili Mi
B8 –Solomonoff & Von Hoffmannstahl - As Soon As He's Dead

Friday 9 November 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Cabbage Part 2" (Cauchy Productions) 1985

Not Cabbage from Brussels,but somewhere called Melsele in fact(?);and not strictly a compilation of Belgian artists either;but it IS on a long defunct  Belgian cassette label that compiled musicians from anywhere,from any musical pigeon-hole, that would be willing donators.
For example we have Mans Hate from Peterborough UK, If Bwana from the Sound Of Pig stable,USA. Het Zweet from the Nether regions, Zan Hoffman from Kentucky......oh....and,naturally, a load of Belgians and other flemish types.
The Cabbage compilations came in four parts, this being numjber two obviously; and you can get Part 1 HERE and 4 HERE and if you are curious........Part three is notoriously hard to if anybody out there has it?...etc!


A1 –De B.B.O.- Radio Ventraal
A2 –The Voodoo Sex Atom - You Speak Well My Dear
A3 –Man's Hate - Old Men In Drag
A4 –M.A.L - The Wanderer
A5 –If,Bwana - Desert March
A6 –Collectionism - We Are All Children Of God
A7 –Asmodaeus - Second Time Is Different
A8 –Cauchy 138 - Obligation
A9 –Zanstones - Green Waiter
A10 –Narzisse - But That's For Later (Excert)
B1 –Unovidual - Silent Shadows
B2 –Magthea - Neptunes Wakes Up
B3 –Het Zweet - Wall
B4 –Ratbau - Show Me How
B5 –JD3 - Fear On Trial
B6 –Moz-Art - Trash Around The Clock
B7 –Man's Hate - The Action Men Are Rotting
B8 –OB Minimax - Eegah!
B9 –Collectionism - Side Effect (Excert)

Thursday 8 November 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Tape Concerto" (The Cassette Factory) 1986

Another classic Belgian Cold Wave/Minimal Synth compilation from 1986,that's even got some well known acts on it? For example Linear Movement and the Klinik.
There may well be some foreign interlopers on this C-60, but it mostly contains Belgians singing and strumming, but mostly playing a gorgeous range of analogue synthesizers,and programming Drum machines.
I suppose there should be a warning on the cover, like the ones  those sandwiches with secret peanuts in don't have...."Warning:May Contain Belgians".....well it does, so those of you with any ongoing psychosomatic disorder involving dropping dead upon the slightest contact with a Belgian, should proceed with extreme caution.


National Side

A1 –Paul K. - Loverblade Cha-Cha
A2 –Trefoil - Tata
A3 –Syndrome - Night Talk
A4 –Pascal Massün - Interludium
A5 –Robert Van Camp - Just For Fun
A6 –Guy De Simpele - Kruipen
A7 –Split Second - Resignation
A8 –Linear Movement - Five Faces 

International Side

B1 –Albert Et Guido - Calculs Au Reia...
B2 –Het Psigotroop - Modern Man
B3 –Gerhard Abrahamsson - Clouds In The Way
B4 –Denis Mpunga + Paul K. - Untitled
B5 –Bryan Ruryk - Walking On Wooden Floors
B6 –Bremheks - Can I Ever Break Away
B7 –A.D. Eker - Sensoria Has Got Me
B8 –The Klinik - Rozenberg-Burning Inside (Live)
B9 –Unovidual + Tara Cross - Discovering Dishes

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Various ‎Artists – "Climax Productions Presents...." (Climax Productions ‎– CB 101) 1986

The inevitable vinyl follow up to the original "Climax Productions" cassette, starts off brilliantly with four classic examples of proto Belgian Electronic Body Music. Then it gets a bit 'Experimental',and then sails uncomfortably close to the kind of naff euro-disco that we anglo-saxons tend to laugh at.
However, this is still a fine minimal synth compilation from the pre-Acid House era.The bad euro-pop only serves to make the good stuff sound better.In this iTunes generation ,bad tunes too often get removed from the running order on your iPhones.Thats like deleting ying and leaving us with only Yang, or editing History to make dictators look like fine upstanding do-gooders.We need the 'bad' to know what 'good' is....then we still probably woudn't know!
Todays challenge is : to Define 'Evil' in ten words of three sylables or less....then Define musical 'Evil' in two. Nouns ARE accepted. (I'll accept Red-Hot Chilli Peppers as two words...there are exceptions to every rule after all?).


A1 –White House White - Jungle Emotions
A2 –Absolute Body Control - Car Fever
A3 –Vita Noctis - She Likes Me
A4 –Schicksal - Body Beat
A5 –Nightmare Reality - The Cage
B1 –Somnambulist - The Seaman's Imagined Fish
B2 –Private Image - The Game
B3 –The French Park - The Turn Of A Card
B4 –Cross Arc - Take This Day Away
B5 –Deliens Roger - Falling Rain
B6 –Private Image - This Belongs To Your Show

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Various Artists ‎– "Climax" (Climax Productions) 1985

Now for some vintage Belgian minimal wave compilation tapes from back in the day.The real thing.
Starting with one of the best from Climax Productions.
Not a duff tune on this classic C-60.
As the compiler says: "it was my intention to make you a cassette with a large amount of variations and I succeeded quite good. You see, I bring you: depression of Asmodaeus, semi-industry with Magthea, romantic stuff from Somnambulist, commercial acts from Emotional Violence, Schicksal and Braindamage."......dunno too much about variation though,it all sounds quite cohesive to me?Could even be by the same band if you squinted your eyes and bunged up your ears.

DOWNLOAD to climax HERE!

Monday 5 November 2018

Jandek ‎– "Brussels Saturday" (Corwood Industries ‎– CORWOOD 0817) 2015

As one is in the middle of doing all things Belgian,and Jandek Monday is looming once more;it's only too right to include some Jandek Improv from the European,and Belgian, capital of Brussels.
Recorded live at the Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium, April 19, 2014.
Annelies Van Dinter is the lucky Belgian installed on the drum kit,and again we have suspected Jandek spouse, Shiela Smith, adding her multi-facetted skills to the mess.
In places it sounds like classic Jandek with accompaniment,at others it sounds like a Han Bennink album, with the poor mans Derek Bailey himself ,aka Live era Jandek, up front and smokin'.
You could play this album at a University Lecturers cheese and wine do and they'd all think it was an avant garde classic that they all pretend to it ain't Evan Parker,Bennink and Bailey, its Jandek you pretentious berks!


1 In My Mind 8:17
2 Friday Morning 36:42
3 Phantom Touches 10:20
4 Maybe You've Died 8:05
5 The Blue Sky 9:21

Sunday 4 November 2018

Various Artists ‎– "The Underground Wave 7"s" (Walhalla Records ‎– WR010) 2015

Nobody's perfect are they?....well,so i've been told.Walhalla's near perfect track record in minimal wave compilations hits an iceberg.
It seems as soon as any Belgian underground Wave acts moved from cassette tape to vinyl they were infected with a dreadful need to be popular,which seems to equate with a need to be dreadful.
Even the normally faultless Bene Gesserit stoop to employing some white mans Rap,like Debbie Harry did in 'Rapture. Enunciated in English with a strong flemish accent;funny,but hardly an impressive tactic.
I can just hear the semi-serious jokes in the studio about how they're gonna be number one in Belgium. From where I come from, 'Having a Number One' means taking a Piss......a 'Number Two' is having a Shit.So with that in mind, and listening to most of these tunes, they should adjust their ambitions to having a number two in Belgium,especially as most of the tracks on this compilation seem to be solid number two material.Like Depeche Mode without the tunes or fashion sense.
These singles maybe be slightly Naff, but they do exude a certain charm that negates the lurch towards things commercial somewhat.
So it ain't all bad i guess? 


A1 –Tipical Me - Claustrofobian 3:04
A2 –Solid State - Recalling You 3:36
A3 –Van Lukas - The Riot 3:02
A4 –Karman - Poker 3:33
A5 –Silent Corner - Number One 3:18
A6 –Bene Gesserit - Kidnapping 3:36
A7 –Kloot Per W - L'Europe 4:01
B1 –Tipical Me - Pope No Hope 3:58
B2 –Rive Gauche - Friends Are Friends 2:56
B3 –Vitor Hublot - J'ai Perdu Mon Oiseau 4:05
B4 –Kaa Antilope - The Break Of Day 3:01
B5 –Ton Lebbink - Voetbalknieën 4:03
B6 –Marina Swingers - I'm A Swinger 3:26
B7 –701 Triangles - Esther 2:47

Friday 2 November 2018

Various ‎Artists – "The Whispering Trees (A Compilation of Belgian Cold Wave and Post Punk 79-86)" (Walhalla Records ‎– WR013) 2017

They call it 'Cold Wave' nowadays. The art of angst ridden soullessness delivered with a chilled passionless passion. Joy Division has a lot to answer for; but we are eternally grateful for this legion of copycat miserablists preserved on the end of a rope for this collection of happy-go-lucky Belgian depressives from the beginning of the 1980s.
So,shut yourself in your funerial-themed bedroom and enjoy the sparce, sombre, delights of some vintage low country Cold Wave from the arse end of the cold war era.


1–Secret Life - Passing Day 04:36
2–Siglo XX - Dreams Of Pleasure (Live Bilzen) 05:36
3–Vibø - Clinical Death 04:00
4–Die Rote Fabrik - Murder 04:57
5–Nausea - No Conversation Between People 04:01
6–Struggler - The Other Side 01:59
7–Onderbronders - Vlaamsche Deerne 03:11
8–Trefoil - Tata 03:32
9–Rank Z'Heroes - The Storm 03:49
10–O Veux - A Face A Mask 02:56
11–Entrée En Gare De La Ciotat - In My Arms 02:43
12–De Brassers - Geluiden Tegen Gezag 03:34
13–10 Kleine Snobs - Zomerhit 02:38

Thursday 1 November 2018

Various Artists ‎– "Underground Wave Volume 5" (Walhalla Records ‎– WR011) 2016

Voila! A fifth volume of forgotten Belgian minimal synth from the pre-cambrian waters of electronic pop, unearthed by Walhalla Records for your entertainment.This was from a time,the Eighties, when Technology was our friend not our controller, and didn't spy on our shopping habits, or track our movements.A time when our brains were in our skulls,except when we were on drugs,instead of in a handheld machine that hypnotises our children.Where's Pol Pot when you need him huh?Perhaps thats too extreme?What we need is a form of musical Neo-Luddism to reclaim the job of humanity in the arts Industry? Better still remove Industry out of the arts all together,or even nationalise it all and provide a guaranteed state income?
One thing i am actually proud of from my hometown of Leicester(UK) is the initiation of the Ludditte movement by angry weaver Ned Ludd, when he smashed up two weaving machines in 1779; exactly two hundred years before the automisation of the pop industry began.
Yeah Ok, i am guilty of using technology to 'rob' artists of royalties maybe, but it was technology that provided their work-free lifestyles in the first place.We are helping musicians reclaim the honesty in their vocation by incentivising actually working for a living, like the rest of us,or rejecting the despicable 'music for profit' principle. That's all Ned honest days work for an honest days pay. The days of Led Zepplin jetting around like super-rich decadent dandies are well and truly over thanks to the Internet.Major record companies are nearing bankruptcy, and self-releases are now the norm.Exactly what 'Punk Rock' failed to achieve in its short lifetime.Yes kids, technology is a force of Good after all?


A1 –7 A Nou - Victims 03:25
A2 –RDP - So You 04:05
A3 –Analysis - Gravity Dance 03:21
A4 –No Unauthorized - J'Attends 03:37
A5 –Nacht Und Nebel - Robot Robot 02:50
A6 –Dead Man Industry - Desorientation In Grey 04:15
B1 –Schicksal - Deceived 03:00
B2 –Unidentified Man - Defaced Places 04:03
B3 –Breast Implosion - Galoppin' Gertie 04:28
B4 –Man Without World - All Nymphs Are Volcanic 04:35
B5 –Vita Noctis - Hymn 03:18
B6 –Kunzysteem - Brighter Than Light 03:22