When we first began this section, Walhalla Recordings founder Lieven De Ridder was top of the list of people whose deep knowledge of Belgium’s musical heritage we were keen to tap into it. Truth is, when it comes to documenting the dark side of the country’s output around the 1980s, Lieven’s imprint – which specialises in releasing on vinyl tracks previously only released on cassette – outdoes others by a mile. And this obscure selection of favourite Belgian releases he’s put together for us proves why.
Polyphonic Size – Action Man (LP “Live For Each Moment / Vivre Pour Chaque Instant” // New Rose / Sandwich Records – 1982)
Gust De Coster played the record on Vrijaf and I went immediately to the record shop to buy a copy. I first bought the French pressing on New Rose which had an extra 7” “Winston and Julia”. “Action Man” is still my favorite of the album.
The Honeymoon Killers – Histoire à Suivre (LP “Les Tueurs De La Lune De Miel” // Crammed Discs – 1981)
They were more famous with “Route Nationale 7” but I prefer this amazing video from a live concert back in 1983. You can see Simon Rigot from Bernthöler in the crowd (white hair and glasses).
Berntholer – My Suitor (7” “My Suitor” // Blue Feather – 1983)
The most beautiful popsong ever made in Belgium with the voice of Drita Kotaji. I ’ve met Simon Rigot several times in my record shop in Antwerp. The band’s name comes from a song “Attention Stockholm” from the Swedish singer Verna Lindt.
Elisa Waut – Summary Of All My Dreams (Cassette “Elisa Waut” // self released 1982)
Their first demotape, I received a copy when I was studying in Gent. The song is not mentioned on the tracklist of the original tape and it figures on Underground Belgian Wave Volume 2 (Walhalla Records).
Twilight Ritual – I Never Called You A Dream (LP “Rituals” // Auxilio De Cientos – 1986)
Twilight Ritual are Peter Bonne and Geert Coppens. “Rituals” is one of my favorite minimal synth albums from Belgium. Twilight Ritual played play live on my first minimal synth festival (OJC Kompas Sint-Niklaas, October 14th 2006) together with Oppenheimer Analysis and Martial Canterel.
Bene Gesserit – Kidnapping (7” “Kidnapping” // Grafika Discs – 1982)
Bene Gesserit is a Belgian duo, Alain Neffe (known as B. Ghola) and Nadine Bal (known as Benedict G.). Alain Neffe is responsible for the label Insane Music as well (Pseudo Code, Human Flesh, …).
A Blaze Colour – Means To An End (K7 “Against The Dark Trees Beyond” // self released – 1981)
One of the most sought after minimal synth tapes from Belgium. The chance that it ever will be re-released is very small. I was one of the first minimal synth collectors to find an original copy.
Enzo Kreft – Beauty Queen (K7 “Me Is” // self released – 1983)
Enzo Kreft released 2 tapes “Me Is” & “Cicatrice”. “Beauty Queen” figures on Underground Belgian Wave vol. 2 (Walhalla Records).
Tangible Joy– Move (K7 “Movement” // self released – 1985)
Tangible Joy were Geert Stadeus and Henk Wallays (also in Unovidual). “Move” is one of my biggest discoveries in collecting minimal synth. It comes from the hard to find cassette “Movement” and figures also on Underground Belgian Wave vol. 2 (Walhalla Records).
Tipical Me – Claustrofobian (7” “Claustrofobian/Pope No Hope // Colour Records – 1985)
Tangible Joy is Lieven Nicasy, he also released a 12” as “The Wave” in 1985. Both tracks (“Claustrofobian” and “Pope No Hope”) will figure on my next compilation “The Underground Wave 7″s”.
Photography ©Veronika Langerova