songs : Olivier Adams &
Year : 2000
Record co. : Antler-Subway
Praga Khan is the artist name of Maurice Engelen. He started out in music in
the mid-eighties as a Dee-Jay in the discotheque "Happy House". This
was an alternative club, with a lot of attention for live bands, like The
Neon Judgement, A Split Second ...
When the New-beat dance craze came around in 1988,
Praga Khan hopped on the bandwagon and became a musician. He founded numerous
projects, of which Lords of Acid was the
most successful. This band, in which Praga Khan operates together with Niki Van
Lierop (Jade 4 u) and Oliver Adams, still exists today and has sold over 1,000,000
copies in the U.S.A. of their horny techno music. With Niki and Oliver, he produces
and composes under the name "MNO" (after their initials). Other projects
in which Praga Khan participated in those days were Shakti (his debut), Jade 4
U, Major Problem, 101, Dirty Harry and Digital Orgasm, and even commercial Flemish
popdance-tunes such as the debut CD of Yasmine.
The debut of Praga Khan was the 1989 single "Bula Bula". The breakthrough
came in 1993 with the song "Injected with a poison". It became
a club-hit in Belgium, but overseas this hit-status also was reflected in the
sales figures. It went to n° 14 in the official charts in England and also gave
him the opportunity to go to Japan. It also opened a lot of doors for the man
in the States, where he started touring.
A lucky break also happened when Paul Verhoeven, during the shooting
of Basic Instinct, walked into "The Limelight"-disco in New York, looking
for a song for his movie. When the track "Rave the rhythm" was played,
he stepped up to the Dee-Jay and asked who that was. The song was included on
the soundtrack, after which a whole bunch of other movies followed : Sliver, Virtuosity,
Strange Days, Bad Lieutenant ... He also composed the soundtrack for the computer-game
Mortal Combat with Oliver Adams as "The Immortals".
In between the first Praga Khan album (Conquers your love of 1996) and
the second (Pragamatic, released 1998), he also founded new projects, like
the more rock-oriented Tattoo of Pain and Channel X. He also gets asked a lot
by other artist to remix their stuff, as was the case with White Zombie ("Rob
Zombie is a big fan, Lords of Acid is his favorite music to have sex on"),
Alice in Chains ("Again"), Jean-Michel Jarre (Chronology part 6), or
the first Milk Inc. hit "La Vache".
With Pragamatic, Praga Khan hoped to convince Belgium of his qualities as an
artist. For the first time, he comes back to his country to perform his big beats
at the festivals. "We will surely prove that we are a very good live
show. We've proven that abroad. Even the Prodigy will admit that, we have played
a lot together. I think it will be easier for the public to get in touch with
our music now. In the beginning it was heavily oriented towards the English scene.
The first singles of The Prodigy also didn't do anything on the European mainland.
I guess we have to thank them for opening up this market for us." (quotes
are from an interview with Studio Brussel in June 1998).
With the release of the next Cd "21st Century Skin", Praga
Khan became a major music act for the first time in their homecountry, pulled
by more melodic singles such as "Breakfast in Vegas" and "Luv U
Still", the album was sold at about 25,000 copies. This earned them even
a place at the Werchter-festival, where they played in the tent.
In the Fall of 1999, the Praga Khan project went to the States for the first
time (as an opener for Lords of Acid, with the same musicians, but with Deborah
Ostrega as the dancer), and in May released the album "Mutant Funk".
The release of the cd was accompanied by an impressive media campaign, which included
a gig on the roof of the flemish TV-station VTM; which made the album shoot up
the charts in no time (2 week at n°2 in the album charts). The band even was
asked again at Werchter, and this time as headliners on the big stage of the first
day. Also in March 2000, Praga Khan did a contribution to the "Glittering
2000" project, on which belgian bands covered songs from the glamrock
era, by doing a version of David Bowie's "Jean Genie".
2001, it was Lords of Acid that was put in the picture
again, with the album "Farstucking". The Praga Khan project started
working on a soundtrack for the Belgo-U.K. movie "Falling". In
May a first single from the music Maurice Engelen & Co are making for this
film was arlready released : Rhythm,
featuring a (sort of) vocal contribution by Roos van Acker (formerly of Eden,
now Stubru, TMF). On the full soundtrack (scheduled for October 2001), there will
be an even stranger co-operation though : Axelle
Red will appear on a number of tracks.
There's already a website on the film with a synopsis & stuff at www.falling.be.
All This means a "quiet summer" for Praga Khan : LOA will be at Marktrock,
Eurorock & Rock
Ternat, the first Praga Khan concerts is at Leffinge
Buy CD's of this band at
- Praga World (Avex Japan, 1994)
- Conquers your love (Never Records, 1996)
- Pragamatic (Never Records, 1998)
- 21st Century Skin (Antler, 1999)
- Mutant Funk (Antler-Subway, 2000) 12 '' / Remixes / MCD / CD singles ...
- Bula Bula (House Records, 1988)
- Out of Conrol (Beatbox, 1989)
- Rave Alarm (Beatbox, 1991)
- Free your body (Sonic Records, 1992)
- Injected with a poison (Beatbox, 1992)
- Rave Alert (Beatbox, 1993)
- A spoonful of Miracle (RCA, Avex, 1993)
- Phantasia Forever (RCA, 1993)
- Begin to move (Avex, 1994)
- Gun Buck (Jive, 1995)
- Love me baby (Never records, 1996)
- Jazz Trippin' (Never records, 1996)
- Injected with a poison '98 Remixes (Never Records, 1998)
- Lonely (Antler-Subway, 1999)
- Luv U Still (Antler-Subway, 1999)
- Breakfast in Vegas (Antler-Subway, 1999)
- The Power of the Flower (Antler-Subway, 2000)
- Love (Antler-Subway, 2000)
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