Rick Shiver’s 20 favourite Belgian releases

With his party concept, Nosejob, set to take over Brussels’ Beursschouwburg this coming Saturday, we got nightlife impresario Rick Shiver to handpick some of his favourite Belgian releases for us. Take this as your chance to delve into the musical mindset of one of the city’s foremost nightlife movers and shakers and get a history lesson in mostly early-to-mid 80s local cuts.

Tune into FM Brussel tonight from 21h to 22h as we will be putting a few questions to Rick and handing playlist duties over to him. 

1. Electronic System “Cosmos Trip” [1977 Targa]

Electronic System is synthesizer devotee Dan Lacksman, member of Telex and responsible for the electronic disco smash Transvolta ‘Disco Computer’. In 1977 he released Disco Machine, kind of Patrick Cowley disco (including the deep Moog new age of Sailing To An Unknown Planet).

2. André and Leslie “Stress” (Instrumental) [1979 EMI]

André Brasseur, writer and producer of this track, experienced in 1979 some major changes in his life, not all good. He got very ill and these feelings reflect in this extraordinary piece of music. A real electronic disco masterpiece.

3. Specimen & The Rizikoos “Storingen” [1979 Disk-O-Grino]

A short-lived band, composed by Walter Verdin (Pas De Deux), that recorded one song ‘Storingen’ with guest vocals by actors Josse De Pauw and Hilde Wils. Vlaamse reggae, how improbable that can sound… (thanks to Alain formerly of Arlequin)

4. Antena “Achilles” [1982 Les Disques Du Crépuscule]

Camino del Sol was cut in Brussels in June 1982 and produced by the band themselves. The mini-album offers five simple, seductive latin sketches. Sublime.

5. Elisa Waut “Russia” [1982 Cassette]

I remember Elisa Waut performing Four Times More on Flemish TV, Elsje not always wearing a bra maybe helped some. Russia came out on a tape (with the superb Summary Of My Dreams), and then a few years later another version with those typical kitsch 80s drums on vinyl. I prefer this version, much more cold wave/cold war.

6. Bene Gesserit “Kidnapping” [1982 Grafika Discs]

Alain Neffe and Nadine Bal doing some silly hip hop to great result.

7. Jobby Lynn “Dreaming Of You” [MJ Sound]

PPU style boogie from Belgium. First heard in Andrew Morgan’s Beats In Space. Andrew being the main force behind PPU.

8. Alec Mansion “Trop Triste” [1982 Warner Bros.]

Boogie cé-fran, or rather Belgian, discovered on Zaltan’s Quartier Choc. Composed by Alec Mansion and written by Marc Moulin. Deliciously cheesy.

9. Linear Movement “Cytogenetic Movement” [1983 Cassette]

Linear Movement is Belgian mastermind Peter Bonne (A Split-Second, Twilight Ritual, Autumn) joined by Peter Koutstaal, and Lieve Van Steerteghem on vocals. Tracks from the Pulse Music cassette and more have been reissued by Minimal Wave. This instrumental beauty sounds terrific.

10. Vitor Hublot “Aller Simple” [1983 Psoria]

I put ‘Histoire De P’tite Annick’ on my latest mixtape Silent Command, but I now I choose this electronic pop nugget. Inspired by The Residents and with vocals from the Talbot Samba Sisters.

11. Zazou / Bikaye / CY 1 “Lamuka” [1983 Crammed]

‘Noir Et Blanc’ is an unsurpassed milestone in European/African fusion, this is a head-on collision between traditional Central African vocals and analog electronics. Hector Zazou came to Brussels to record this album in June ’83. With him were Congolese singer Bony Bikaye, and CY1, two French mad scientists.

12. Noise Abroad “Vent That Spleen” [1983 EMI]

Luc Van Acker with members of Gang Of Four and Shriekback. Leftfield, and still fresh. Apparently a Chicago club favourite, Ron Hardy playin’ it.

13. Anna Domino “Take That” [1985 Les Disques Du Crépuscule]

From 1984 onwards Anna spend half of each year in New York, and the other half in Brussels, where the Crépuscule empire was based. In 1985 she released this single, a regular in my sets lately. ‘What life doesn’t offer we steal from each other…’

14. T.C. Matic “Elle Adore Le Noir Pour Sortir Le Soir” [1985 EMI]

Arno. From new wave to blues (T.C. Matic to Charles And Les Lulus) to my mom’s favorite crooner.

‘Elle Adore Le Noir’ reminds of nights out with Ran and Vanessa.

15. Walter Christian Rothe “The Next Leaf” [1985 Archipel]

New age/ambient. The album Let The Night Last Forever is borderline, but has a few great moments.

16.Chayell “Beach” [1987 Antler]

Peter Bonne. Balearic sleaze backed by the more typical new beat of Tropic. Going ridiculously expensive after DJ Harvey played it on Boiler Room.

17. Parade Ground “Strange World” [1987 Play It Again Sam] Gold Rush

Parade Ground is the duo of brothers Jean-Marc and Pierre Pauly from Brussels, formed in 1981. They channeled suffering, tension and rage through pulsing synthesizers, even if the singer can sound sometimes ‘a little’ theatrical. Strange World being a longtime favorite of mine.

18. 2 Body’s “Body Drill” [1989 House]

Acid/new beat by Ro Maron aka Rembert De Smet [2 Belgen] and Ferre Baelen. Blood, sweat, saliva and semen.

19. CJ Bolland “Golden Dreams” [1990 R&S]

CJ doin’ some bleepy techno together with Steve Cop on his 2nd EP for the legendary R&S label.

20. I Love Lucy “Spin'” [1993 Boom!]

Chris ‘Ignacio’ De Cuyper was really pushin’ me to buy this 7″ at Dr. Vinyl. At first I thought he was jokin’ -Chris being a genius madman- but he kept on insistin’. A-side being rubbish, B-side sounds like they decided to quickly forget about that A-side and finally have some fun! Very lo-fi but that’s part of the charm.