Belgium + The '80s = New Beat. Like most narratives worth
exploring, things are a bit more than the product of a simple equation.
Belgium, for instance, is among the most culturally complex countries
in the world. What does it mean to be Belgian? Holding more than one
idea in your head at once. The '80s? Despite the warm nostalgia for
the decade, no one has truly figured that one out either.
What we do know is that New Beat arrived from a specific
set of circumstances and sounds. And they varied greatly from
city to city, depending on the club and the DJ involved.
The Human League, Fad Gadget and Skinny Puppy are all part of it.
In other places, Gary Numan and Frankie Goes To Hollywood
sounded right at home too. It's Belgium, you see.
Many nations under a slowed down groove.
At Antwerp's Prestige, things were a little bit brighter than at
famed clubs like Ghent's Boccaccio, the audience a bit less
interested in the art terrorism of bands like The Neon Judgement,
A Split Second and Front 242. YouTube doesn't lie:
People laughed, they wore fur coats, they sat down.
This month's promo mix is from Peter Van Hoesen.
Growing up in Belgium, he visited Prestige enough times to
understand its context. So in true promo mix fashion, he's put
together something for the club's owners before New Beat took off
that he would have loved for them to hear and consider.
Maybe he could've taken Prestige to a darker place in
its formative years. Maybe it simply was what it was.