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Belgium hooked into the international house-craze of the late 1980's in a unique way : by developing an own brand of house, called New Beat. This monotonous discotheque dance-music, powered by a slow and heavy beat, combined the new elements of house-music with elements which existed in Belgian music for a number of years. These were the industrial and underground electrowave bands like Front 242, Poesie Noire, A Split Second and The Neon Judgement.


Confetti's - "The sound of C..."
46,9 sec. - 92 Kb.
song : S. Ramaekers D. Sas
Produced : The Maxx
Year : 1988
Record co. : USA Import

Erotic Dissidents - "Move your ass and feel the beat
38,8 sec. - 76 Kb.
song : Morton - Sherman
Produced : Morton-Sherman- Bellucci
Year : 1988
Record co. : Subway-Antler

Amnesia - "Ibiza"
56,0 sec. - 110 Kb.
song : Novak, Caplin, De San Antonio
Produced : B. Van Garsse
Year : 1988
Record co. : Indisc


The New Beat - DJ's inspired themselves by the sound spectrum which was developed by these bands and started producing records at a high rate (and a low tempo ;-) ). Numerous new-beat hits were the consequence. Among which "Move your ass and feel the beat" by Erotic Dissidents, "Ibiza" by Amnesia, "Qui" by BSR, "Hmm hmm" by A Taste of Sugar and even "Slave to the beat" by old punk laughing stock Plastic Bertrand. All these records managed to produce sales only dreamt of by regular Belgian musicians.

A lot of the "regular musicians" were tempted by the occasion and produced some New Beat-records under different pseudonyms (as not to endanger their street credibility). Most noticeable example is the frontman of Poésie Noire who forms the production trio Morton, Sherman and Belluci with Antler-boss Roland Beelen and electronics-wizard Herman Gillis. Others include Luc Van Acker with Lords of Acid, Jo Bogaert (see Technotronic) with Nux Nemo, Walter Van Beirendonck (Belgian fashion designer) and Jean-Paul Gaultier (French Fashion designer), Lou Depryck, Rocco Granata (with a new beat version of "Marina") and even our former prime minister Paul Van den Boeynants (whose legendary press conference on his abduction by Patrick Haemers was sampled in "Qui (a volé ma pipe)" by BSR).


For a moment Belgium was at the forefront of the dance-revolution and about the hippest place on earth. It lasted only a few months though, when New Beat was replaced with newer fashions like acid-house etc... The new-beat-craze however had brought a lot of musicians to the dance scene, which later on resulted in successes like Technotronic, Two Unlimited, Praga Khan, Lords of Acid, T99 and Cubic.


The highest selling group of that wave of New-beat groups were Confetti's. This company of DJ's of the Antwerp-based club "Confetti's", with a waiter of the club as a singer, scored international hits with "The sound of C..", "C-day" and "C in China".

A nice footnote in the "New Beat"-craze was the counter-reaction by the "traditional" rock-musicians in the form of the charming single "Ol' time religion ... so sad" by "the Sam Cooke Singers" of Leuven that was made a radio-hit by frustrated radio-producers. The lyrics : "so sad they like this new beat, their feet don't dance on nothing else no more".

Koop New Beat CD's bij proxis

Albums :
- Amnesia : "Hysteria" (Indisc - 1988)
- New Beat Take 1 (Subway/Antler - 1988)
- New Beat Take 2 (Subway/Antler - 1989)
- New Beat Take 3 (Subway/Antler - 1989)
- New Beat Take 4 (Subway/Antler - 1989)
- Rock To The Beat, The Ultimate New Beat Collection (Antler/Pias, 1999)

Websites on New Beat :

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about New Beat
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about New Beat


New Beat

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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