One of the local underground’s uncontested heavyweights, graphic designer, illustrator and Teenage Menopause Records head honcho Elzo Durt (1980) indulges into his love for all things gritty, fast-paced and slightly off-kilt in this 11-strong pick of favourite Belgian releases. Early 80s punk, disco-punk, synth punk and garage punk. All Belgian.
1. Lantin – No man’s land (Single, 1980, NML 01)
Simply one of the best French-spoken punk tracks to my ears. It’s timeless, and quite rare. I’ve never actually seen it on any compilations but to me it’s just as important as the next one.
2. D.D.Mac Off – Le Prof A Mac / Off (Le Prof a Mac Off, 1978, Honey Bee Records)
I discovered this one on the Bloody Belgium compilation. A really funny and quirky track.
3. Definitivos – The Modern Dance (Single, 1981, Deaf Records)
A true disco-punk piece.
4. Contingent – Violence (Contingent, 1980, Contingent Records)
I love how straight-forward this one is, quite aggressive, with incredible vocals by Bob Seytor. I revived this one on the Bloody Belgium compilation that came out in 2011 on Born Bad Records, alongside an exhibition on Belgian punk under the same name that I organised together with Poch (the same Poch that released the last album of Contingent in 2015!).
5. Revenge 88 – Neonlight (Alone, 1981, J.D.M. Records)
A great disco-punk track. It was just re-released on 12″ on Belgian Waffles Records!
6. The Pinchers – Rape Her (Tonight, 1981, Color)
This one isn’t very talked about either, yet it’s a tiny atom bomb.
7. Plastichke – Ca Gaze Pour Moi (Single, 1978, Omega International)
More classic than classical, and Plastichke also managed to give the track an even more punk feel than the original. And, a nice dose of Bruxellaire always goes down well.
8. Keeper Volant – Union (2015)
I’ve presented mostly old punk bands up until now… But here’s something more current.
9. Le Prince Harry – Chemistry (Le Prince Harry // Duchess Says Split EP, 2015, Teenage Menopause Records)
The most straightforward synth punk on the planet! And my darlings! This track was released on a split with Montreal-based Duchess Says on my label Teenage Menopause Records.
10. Mountain bike – Is That All About Money? (Mountain Bike, 2014, Humpty Dumpty Records)
To avoid only talking about Belgian punk, here’s a band with a garage (even poppy) feel to it, and who’s simply incredible. Even if they aren’t born and bread Belgians, they adopted Belgium as their new homeland, and they completely have their place in this list.
11. Wolvennest – Unreal (WLVNNST, 2016, Weme Records)
A new black ambient project by Kurby, that came out on Weme Records (a label that’s initially somewhat electronic). This album is a gem, to say the least.
Photo: Alexandre Macchi