Born and bred in Liège, Piano Club singer Anthony Sinatra (1979) shares his selection of favourite Belgian cuts. Expect synth grooves, raw guitars and some all-time classics from both sides of the linguistic divide.
1. “Tout petit la planète” – Plastic Bertrand (J’te Fais Un Plan’, Vogue, 1978)
A song that follows Space’s Magic Fly footsteps, with production by the great Belgian magician Lou Deprijck.
2. “Sage comme une image” – Lio (Ariola, 1980)
I truly love her two first albums. Telex and Jacno’s signature sounds are very present and the melodies hit exactly the right spot. Lio is the epitome of the “not quite innocent” Lolita, in an ultra-pop packaging.
3. “Breakdown” – Carol (Dirty Dance, 1981)
A great piece of Belgian minimalist synth-pop. I love the haunting vocals on this dark wave beat.
4. “Japanese Garden” – Berntholer (Putovsky, 1982)
I don’t know very much about them but this track is sublime and captivating. I heard John Peel was a big fan.
5. “Sound of C” – Confetti’s (USA Import Music, 1988)
One of the first records I bought with my own money, as it was extremely popular at the time. I can’t help but find the track weirdly attractive and catchy.
6. “Orange” – Metal Molly (Surgery for Zebra, Brinkman Records, 1995)
I used to organise a music festival in Liège, and I was so happy to have booked them in 2000. I especially love their album “The Golden Country”. Pascal Deweze was also a part of Mitsoobishy Jackson, another great Belgian act.
7. “Welcome” – Zop Hopop (Welcome, Soundstation, 1996)
When this came out I remember thinking that finally, a musician from my hometown is doing something I like and may even be able to make a career out of it. Six years later my band got signed on the same record label. I think Zop hopop opened the way for us somehow.
8. Electronica for Lovers – Das Pop (PIAS, 1999)
It’s a track that made me discover so much new music. Soulwax had just released “Much Against Everyone’s Advice”, which I loved too. It clearly stems from the desire to move away from trends while making more fine-cut pop productions with nods to what was being made in the UK, but with a clear Flemish touch.
9. “Champagne” – Millionaire (Outside the simian flock, PIAS,2001)
It’s the band that impressed me the most in the “Evil Superstars” era. The first album “Outside the Simian Flock” especially, blending on-point saturated guitars with funky beats.
10. “Rosegarden” – De Portables (Rosegarden, K-RAA-K, 2001)
Ghent-based De Portables just released a new album this year but I discovered them through Rosegarden. An intriguing record. Their structure “Studio Muscle” has some great things in store, including Wio’s solo albums.
11. “Fata Crazy” – Marc Mélia (Music for Prophet 08, 2013)
I discovered Marc Mélia while looking for synthesiser demos on youtube. His music is contemplative and poetic. He’s always capable of extracting emotions from his machine.
12. “Dead Line” – Pale Grey (Best Friends, Jaune Orange, 2014)
They’re from Liège and I had the chance to produce their first album. Their new material is pretty amazing, I predict that we’ll hear a lot from them next year.
13. “Are Animals Different” – The Germans (FONS Records, 2015)
Ghent-based The Germans present themselves as “Art Rockers” now. I’m not into everything they release but they’re nevertheless a very interesting band that always finds new ways to reinvent themselves.
14. “Geraldine” – Le Colisée (2016)
A very creative band from Brussels, with lyrics in French and English; “Geraldine” being perfect proof of this fact.