To mark M HKA’s current group show Energy Flash dedicated to the rave movement of the 90s, we’ve unearthed 10 dance floor Belgian classics guaranteed to send you back to a time of fluorescent flashlights, 303 bass lines and airhorns.
1. Trax-x – Gravity (from the EP “Molecule 66”)
Liège’s Danny Casseau released Gravity towards the end of the rave era in ’94 under the alter ego Trax-X. A track with some great oldskool acid flair, dirty 303 bass lines included.
2. T99 – Anasthasia (from the album “Anasthasia”)
If the rave movement ever had an anthem, it’d be Anasthasia, Olivier Abbeloos’ most well-known track. Steeped in classical drama, it carries influences by Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ and spurred countless copies by other producers later on in the decade.
3. Quadrophonia – Quadrophonia (from the album “Quadrophonia”)
Dutch-Belgian collective Quadrophonia, with T99’s Olivier Abbeloos and Lucien Foort at the helm, released this cult classic in 1991. The track seamlessly combines breakbeats and techno sounds and has a somewhat emotional feel to it.
4. CJ Bolland – Camargue (from the album “Camargue”)
CJ Bolland, one of the first Belgian-based artists to have a release on cult label R&S records, dropped this track during the peak years of the country’s rave scene. A timeless representative of the era with funky bass lines and eerie bouncing beats.
5. Atomic Brain – Atomic Brain (from the album “Atomic Brain”)
A collaboration between producers Hughes Saïdi and Gregory Dewindt that has no restraints whatsoever. Hardcore dance, 909 kicks and breakbeats make this track into an absolute killer.
6. Frank De Wulf – The Tape (from the album “The B-Sides Vol. III)
A classic uptempo track by one of the pioneers of New Beat and house music in Belgium. Think Apocalypse Now and saxophone samples combined with a raving bass line.
7. Second Phase – Mentasm (from the album “Mentasm”)
The R&S records classic that had iconic US producers Joey Beltram and Mundo Muzique join forces for a dark tune that bursts with energy. This flawless collaboration marks the first appearance of the hoover sound, emblematic of the early 90s club scene and later to be taken over by gabber and hard house producers. No rave list would be complete without Mentasm.
8. The Mackenzie – Early in the morning (from the album “Wanna make love with the DJ”)
A mid-90s track by The Mackenzie, released on eponymous label Mackenzie records, that initially started out as a new beat project but parted more in the direction of progressive and vocal trance music, mixed with ambient influences.
9. Dream Concept – Shy Kid (from the album “Shy Kid”)
Nothing but hi-hats and eurodance vibes on this 1994 dance floor stomper that pays homage to its early acid roots.
10. The Break Boys – My house is your house (from the album “Underground Breakdown”)
The quintessential early 90s Miami breakbeat sound is strong in this one. Released by US producer Frankie Bones on Belgian label Buzz, it has this fast-paced rave vibe to it that had dance floors the world over exploding way back when.