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Period : September 25-October 3, 2000
In this issue : Kamino, Wim Mertens, Hooverphonic, Inside Internet, Novastar, K's Choice, Belle Perez

October 3, 2000

The title above is not only a great title for a song, it's a great song as well : it's the new and third single of the Antwerp-based band Kamino. The B-side on the single to this sunny popsong however is a glockenspiel-cover of "Song Sung Blue" by Neil Diamond. Better is the news that the band will also release a first album in the next week: it will be out on Labelman (distribution De Konkurrent) and will carry the title "Universal Love Music".
The album was recorded at the their home studio, mixed by Jo Francken and among the guests feature Wim dB & Ineke 23 (De Bossen), Herbert Lanckhorst or the inevitable Bart Maris (check any record with trumpets on it). It's already certain that the album will also be released in Spain & Norway, but other countries may follow (especially in England where the band already got very nice reviews for their Donut and "Tuduptup Girls" singles, such as ""You could make a case for a Belgian scene with Kamino fitting between Soulwax (on "Rockafeller") and dEUS (on "I've Got To Love Me"). They have some of the twisted pop energy of the former, and some of the emotive tenderness of the latter.")
The album will be presented with a performance at "De Nachten on Tour" at the AB, Brussels on October 11th, where they promise to play 6 songs with keyboard player Tom Slegers as a special guest. Tom assisted Jo Francken during the mixing of the album and is a big fan of the doom metal genre, so be prepared!

Last week, composer Wim Mertens descended from his studio in the lush surroundings of the Brussels "Galerie Du Roi", where a piano had been installed, to give a surprise concert from midday to 4 o'clock to the passers-by, celebrating the release of his new album.
This time, the album got a German title "Der Heisse Brei" (the hot porridge), just as the tracks on the cd which carry titles such as "Von Ganz Unten", "Eine Kugelrunde Null", "Zutzig" or "Sanger Ohne Stimme". The album is piano and voice (his sixth album with these instruments-combination, and his 34th in all!).
The celebrated film and music-composer will go on a short tour of Belgium in the next weeks, starting at the Ancienne Belgique on 4,5 and 6 October (all sold out), in Koksijde on October 11, at the Bourla-theatre in Antwerp on October 11, in Sint-Niklaas on October 20, and in Sint-Truiden on October 27.
Strangely enough, Wim Mertens is indirectly also quite "hot" in clubland at the moment : a version of his minimalistic piece Struggle for Pleasure (nowadays known over here as "That Proximus tune", as it was used extensively in ads for telecommunications) is goin' round the clubs in a trance version by Minimalistix. The first vinyl pressing of that version were sold out in no time, and it will appear soon an a large number of compilations (also in the UK). You can hear the song on the Telenet's Dance Update site, where it currently resides at n°6.
Buy "Der Heisse Brei" at.

October 2, 2000

In less than a month of its release, the well-received third album of Hooverphonic "The Magnificent Tree" has already reached gold status here in Belgium. This means the band is definitely gaining in stature here, as the previous album "blue wonder power milk " took over two years to accomplish that feature. Meanwhile the new single "Vinegar & Salt" is also going reasonably well, peaking at n°3 in the Afrekening at the moment.
For now, the band is on a 6-week tour of the States, doing promo's in radio-stations and playing live in a package deal with BT. The dates for a big tour of Europe after that are also rolling in: the band will play Denmark, Germany, Holland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Israel.
If your internet-connection is any good, you should definetely check out the online version of the radio-concert the band did for station KRCW in Los Angeles, featuring 8 songs and a nice interview with Alex Callier. (Jock : Hello Alex. Alex : Goeiemorgen. Jock : Huh? Alex : Hello, I speak well English actually ...). If the connection is not so good, you'll have to be content with the tour-diary Alex, Raymond & Geike are doing at the Studio Brussel-website.

October 1, 2000

Last Thursday, the monthly magazine Inside Internet ( held it's second "Night of The Internet", in which all kinds of very important people from the e-economy merge and mingle and applaud the Belgian Internetawards. Those awards were handed out in 9 categories this year, with two of them also having a "junior" title. And hip hip hooray : I got one of those. So, now you're reading the junior e-publisher of the year, here. Hear, hear. Sadly enough, I missed the ceremony & food & drinks in the Brussels Hilton because I'm basically too stupid to keep a decent agenda and was getting a bit too involved in following the Olympics.
The winners in a row :
- Startup of the year : Streamcase
- e-commerce site : Zappybaby
- E-publisher of the year : EuropeanInvestor
- junior E-publisher : yours truly!
- Webmaster of the year : Tran Viet Tuoc for the site
- junior Webmaster : Ilan Oz for
- Best technology site of the year : Casius
- Business site of the year : VMS-Keytrade
- Best Design :
- Best Non-Profit : Medecins sans frontières / Artsen zonder grenzen
- Beste personal page : Fab & Flo

September 30, 2000

Das Pop have released the first single of their upcoming and eagerly awaited debut album. The track is entitled "The One", and it'll be in the shops as of October 2nd (already on the radio as one of the Stubru hotlist).
Meanwhile, more details about the full-cd are also coming out: The release date is still set for October 16th, and the album will contain 11 tracks : "The One", "Such A Day", "Baby of Gold", "A Naked Girl", "The Love Program", "Forever", "Rosie", "Ordinary Sunset", "Sing Song", "True" and "All For Love". Good news is certainly also that the first 10,000 copies will come as a special edition of the CD, that - apart from the ten regular tracks - will also include the three first singles of the band which made their reputation here in Belgium : "A Different Beat" (already a collector's item), "The Little Boy" and "Electronica for Lovers".

Novastar and management have anounced the winner of the big "become the official Novastar webmaster" contest, which announced on these pages in June. The official bearer of the title "Novastar webmaster" for a whole year and the winner of 100,000 Belgian francs and a trip to the U.S.A. is Tim Desgives (a professional in the bizz, from Wilrijk) who made a very nice site, built entirely in Flash.
The site will be residing at very soon, but for now, you can see the winning entry here.
Meanwhile, plans to conquer a bit of territory outside of Belgium with Novastar are beginning to take shape : the next "targets" are Germany, England and the US. Chances are that Joost will be doing a tour in England solo with a "big name" soon, and in the U.S. the album will be released on Atlantic. There'll also be a new single here in Belgium any day now.

September 25, 2000

I was on a holiday for a long week, so I'll I'll be trying to catch up with the rhythm of Belgian pop again in the couple of days, bringing myself and you up to date (although I sincerely hope that this site is not your only source of information on the subject).

K's Choice are today making their newest and 4th album available in the shops: as was already known before, the album is called "Almost Happy", features 13 rather intimistic songs written by the brother/sister Bettens, was recorded in Peter Gabriel's RealWorld studio's in Bath, and was produced by the Australian duo Marshall Bird & Steve Bush. Some niceties on the CD are "intro", which features the voice of Sarah as it was recorded when she was only 6 years old singing a nursery rhyme, "Shadowman", surprisingly well-sung by Gert, and the bonus-track "Already there", which might as well have been on a Sarah McLachlan album.
In the interviews that are appearing in the press everywhere, Sarah & Gert present the album as the most contemplative as of yet, with lyrics that describe the people that they are, and the way they feel at this time. Surprisingly enough, most interviews also reveal that they had to go to a lot of trouble to make this CD, as their record company Sony (DoubleT) was not impressed with the demo-material (no single-material). Quote of the day (from Oor) "The climate in the record bizz is deterioting rapidly : everybody fears losing their jobs, nobody is willing to take a risc, everything has to sound just the way everything else on the radio sounds. There was a big lack of trust. ... In Belgium and Holland we feature among the big acts, but in other countries we don't, so they consider us a non-succesfull band. Isn't that bizarre?". Indeed. In the meantime, the single "Almost Happy" is leading in the Afrekening for the third consecutive week.
Buy "Almost Happy", the CD, at.

Belle Perez, the flemish bid in race to outdo Britney Spears as the queen of teeny pop, has just released her full-cd here in Belgium. The album is called "Hello World", as was the title of the single "Hello World" . That has indeed travelled quite a bit of the globe already, bringing the team considerable success in some Latin-American and Mediterranean countries, but falling a bit short in the Anglo-American pop-cultures. Still, EMI International has made Belle Perez one of their "international priorities", meaning they are ready to invest quite an amount in promoting the act to the pophungry audiences of the world. The new single is called "That crazy Feeling" and you can hear it in full from the current infomercial Channel-E (a webcast on the Kanaal 2-site she is the host of).
Buy "Hello World", the CD, at.


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