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Period : June 20-July 1, 2001
In this issue : Tom Helsen, Automatic Buffalo, B., Filip Kowlier, Vive La Fête, El Fish & Roland, TMF, Automatic Buffalo

July 1, 2001

Hey now, summer's here (for good now). And with it, the new edition of the Belpoptop, the verdict of the users of this website on the state of current Belgian Pop & Rock Music. Newcomers in the list are the new single of Das Pop, K's Choice, Monza & De Mens, and the delightful debut release of Venus in Flames with the EP "Cynthia's Gone".

Belpoptop June
1 Tom Helsen "Slowly"
2 Mauro "Let Me Know"
3 Yum "Fake"
4 Zornik "Love Affair"
5 Das Pop "The Love Program"
6 Venus in Flames "Cynthia's Gone"
7 Mintzkov Luna "Copper"
8 Monza "De stad kan zo koud zijn"
9 K's Choice "Another Year"
10 De Mens "Denk je nog aan mij"
  Give your opinion : Vote Here <<<

New suggestions :
- Zornik "It's so unreal" . After the success of the debut single "Love Affair" (now at number 4 in this list), Zornik released this new song, which is doing equally well in the Afrekening etc.
- Automatic Buffalo "All men are equal" . Gorki has been kicked out by Sony, but this isn't letting Luc de Vos's spirits down. He has even started a brand new side-project with the entire Ashbury Faith, and a first EP is out in the open. The project is also touring, in conjuction with Axl Pelemans' project "Camden".
- B. "Waiting" : B. = Boy, the sound-technician of the scene in Ghent (Derek & Vis, Tony, Das Pop ...), who has now released a first EP "Wait & See" of his own, co-written by Yves Meersschaert (the Vis from Derek & Vis).
- Zita Swoon "Banana Queen" : the most funky track of the album "Life= A Sexy Sanctuary" has now been released a single. There's also a maxi-CD out, with a number of remixes (Tom Tom Club, CJ Bolland, Praga Khan ...).
- Filip Kowlier "Welgemeende" : "welgemeende" means "heartfelt" or so, but in fact the lines go "een welgemeende fuck you, een welgemeende kust mijn kloten" (a heartfelt fuck you, a heartfelt kiss my nuts). The song is out on single (with the previous promo-only "kwestie van organisatie" as the b-side), taken from the forthcoming album "ocharme ik" this rapper-turned-singer/songwriter from 't Hof van Commerce is preparing.
- Nathalie Chabas "Oh La La La" : This might well become a collector's item (who's going to buy it?): one of the last Big Brother inhabitants has thrown herself onto the music market as well, joining Kloot Per W on a version of the TC Matic classic.
- The Dill Brothers "Bloody Mary" : This ska-reggae-afro outfit that is currently spicing up many a summer-festival in Flanders, has released a second single from their 2nd and versatile album "Remedy".
- El Fish & Roland "I've seen that face before (libertango)" . El Fish are currently touring with "musical adventurer in heart & soul" Roland and have the album "Waterbottle" out in the shops. This is the surprise cover of the song you know from the Grace Jones version.
- Ghinzu "R2D3" , a new single from the album "Electronic Jacuzzi", but quite different from the version that is on the album: the single is a remix done by Das Pop.
- Reverend Pimp "Heroes in Slippers" . In fact, I don't know jack-ass about Reverend Pimp, but can we ever have enough Beck-like slacker pop around? You can get the free full-length MP3 of it on the site of Kinky Star.
- Sue Daniels "Constant (raving)" . This was already included in the suggestions of last month, but since no-one bothered to vote for it, might as well retry. Sue Daniels definitely a young talent, backed on his debut-CD "Paris" by Mauro, Cinérex, Rudy Trouvé and such.

June 25, 2001

"You can't judge a book by looking at the cover", goes the saying, but when you look at the cd-cover of "République Populaire" by Vive La Fête, you already get a pretty good feel for what the package offers: sexy, retro synth music with a twist.
Danny Mommens (the bass-player of the ever so silent dEUS) & his girlfriend Els Pynnoo have enlarged the band that made it's debut with "Attaque Surprise" with Jules de Borgher (the dEUS-drummer), Jeroen Swinnen ('57') & Dirk Cant (Mumasan Oyster). The album features more of the same music, but it's definitely done better.
The band isn't exactly shy on giving away their music on the internet: at atrecordings, you can pre-listen the entire album in real-audio (and buy it as MP3's), while at Mao-magazine, you can enjoy three full tracks in mp3-quality for free.
Vive la fête will be performing at the big festival of Beach Rock soon, as they were called in to replace the Sugababes in the line-up.

June 21, 2001

When singer/guitarist Filip Casteels left El Fish last summer, many feared that this most adventurous blues band would fold the books: but a small year later, the group proves to be as active as ever: only a few months after the cd "A12" with Geert Waegeman was released, El Fish have now put some material on CD with "musical adventurer in heart and soul" Roland van Campenhout. This cd is called "Waterbottle", was put on tape almost in a live-situation with just four recording days. This resulted in a raw sound with the slogan "Do You Rock from the Botttom, Or do you play it from your head?". That El Fish isn't going to give on in the adventure-department is proven by the cover of "Libertango - I've seen that face before" (as known from Grace Jones).
El Fish & Roland have been touring together since March, and this summer's season they'll continue doing so : First up is Ginsert (@ Swingin' Genk, this Friday). Other major dates are the evening before the Belgian Rhythm'n'Blues Festival in Peer (July 20), Gentse Feesten (July 22), Suikerrock (July 29) and Marktrock (August 14).
The band has also found a new webmaster, so be sure to check out the official site. Find the fish to navigate.

>>> Buy El Fish & Roland "Waterbottle" for 747 fr. at Proxis <<<

The TMF press department is doing overtime, bombarding us with all the good intentions this Belgo-Dutch music-channel has for the summer. Among the plans, two are +/- interesting for Belgian rock-lovers:
- the show "BE" (aired each sunday between 18 & 18:30) is getting good feedback, so it will be extended from 30' to 60' starting next month, still showing nothing but clips from Belgian bands (from all genres, commercial & non-commercial all mixed).
- Basta! (aired each Thursday between 21:00 & 22:00) is taking a little break producing new material in the summer, and will fill this period re-airing previous "specials" they did about Belgian bands : they are calling a vote to decide on which X-tra's will be repeated, the choices being Angelico, DAAU, Das Pop, Dead Man Ray, Tom Helsen, Hooverphonic, Kamino, K's Choice, - Laïs, Mauro, De Mens, Monza, An Pierle, Thou & Zita Swoon. Voting can be done between June 21st & July 4th at the Basta-page. Tonight (June 21) DAAU is the band in the spotlight.
Other interesting news is that the channel planning quite a bit of coverage of the Werchter festival. The main "T/W 2001 Special" will be aired on Monday July 2, with images from the gigs, interviews, 'behind the scenes' reportages and more, repeated on July 4th.
JimTV, on the other hand, are promising coverage of the first Belgian Love Parade ("City Parade"), which will be held in Liège this weekend.

June 20, 2001

A quote from an interview with Luc De Vos of Gorki earlier this year : "I'm going to start recording albums in English now. Because I really want to leave behind 20 CD's or so, and with the current pace of Gorki, I will not get there". That plans have now gotten real, and Automatic Buffalo is the name the project has got (found in a songlyric of The Sheila Divine). In it, Luc De Vos is backed by the three member of Ashbury Faith (Axel Peleman - his co Frenh Quiz'er - Matthias van der Hallen & Reinert d'Haene - both active in Yum now).
Automatic Buffalo didn't get the luxury of starting off with an album though : the record co first wants to test the water with an EP, which got the title "All Men Are Equal". Nice news is certainly that the band has already set up a website (, of course) and is spreading an MP3 version of the first single (right here ). (Am I the only one that thinks it sounds very much like an English cover of "Redt mijn ziel vooral" ?)
Automatic Buffalo will already be performing, but as the repertoire is rather limited for the moment, the new project of Axl Peleman named Camden will be co-performing with them on stage. Some of the occasions to hear them are Kapstock (Kapellen, July 7), Gentse Feesten (July 16), Lokerse Feesten (August 8).

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