DJ Mixes, Free Tunes, Genres, Podcast

New Beat Mixtape

Here’s another installment of me going on about some under-remembered electronic subgenre of the past–this time the focus is on Belgium, and New Beat. Long before house music made it out of the Midwest, Belgium had a thriving electronic music scene (they called it Electronic Body Music, or EBM, and it was basically a dancier variant of Industrial—think Front 242, à;GRUMH…, Luc Van Acker, Neon Judgement, etc.). They also had a lot of embarrassing Hi-NRG and Euro-Pop (which I also adore, but you can probably guess how Luc Van Acker felt about it). As a response to these up-tempo dance-pop formats, a DJ by the name of Fat Ronnie (real name Ronnie Harmsen) started dramatically slowing down his records. He’d take 45 rpm pressings of tunes in the 135-155 bpm range, and play them at 33rpm +8, bringing the tempo down to 95-120, and then mix them with EBM, some Italo-Disco, New Wave, and what not. By 1986 the “Go Slow” DJ style was blowing up, and you had a lot of DJs throughout Belgium playing this way, and even making purposefully slow records to mimic this sound. At first some people were just calling it “AB music” (after the Ancienne Belgique, a famous concert hall in Brussels where Fat Ronnie played), but eventually the term “New Beat” took hold.

A few of the New Beat DJs (most notably Marc Ickx from A Split-Second) starting incorporating some early Chicago House tracks into their sets; clocking in at 115-120, they were the perfect tempo, and though they were black and American and disco-driven, there was an element of weirdness to them that fit perfectly with Belgian EBM. Soon Acid House was blowing up in Belgium (and being heavily incorporated into New Beat tunes), and it was through this that the first imports started to make their way to the UK (and Ibiza). In fact, Belgian imprint R&S was the first label outside the US to release Joey Beltram, Juan Atkins, Suburban Knight, 2 In A Room, and a load of other US artists.

A lot of the initial New Beat tunes were pretty poppy, but by 1988 the acid house influence had merged with EBM aesthetics to give Belgian techno a much harder edge. It’s from here that the “Belgian Hardcore” sound of the early ’90s evolved (think “Dominator” by Human Resource, “Take Control” by Lords of Acid, or anything with a hoover in it), and ultimately Dutch Gabba/Hardstyle/Jumpstyle. It’s easy to forget just how many huge names in techno come from this country of only 10 million people: Praga Khan, Lords of Acid, 2 Unlimited, Technotronic, CJ Bolland, Frank De Wulf, Milk Inc, 2 Many DJs, Hooverphonic (and that’s not even counting one-hit wonders like Human Resource, Set Up System, Convert, and the like). Perhaps as much as the Americans or the British (and certainly more than the oh-so-fashionable Germans & French), Belgians are responsible for today’s electronic dance music culture.

Now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest, I’ll leave you with a mixtape (and I do mean TAPE, as in two sides, 90 minutes) of Belgian New Beat (with a few non-Belgian tunes of the era thrown in for good measure), and a link to a really good (but unfortunately Flemish-only) resource for this music: And before anybody says it, yes, I know I left out Telex. Sorry.

Now here’s the mix:

Download: Chrissy Murderbot New Beat Mix Tape (Side A)


Download: Chrissy Murderbot New Beat Mix Tape (Side B)

A Side:

  1. MaC Sample – House Inspector (Subway)
  2. Jade 4U – That Boy (Acid Mix) (Subway)
  3. Chinese Ways – Secrets of China (Subway)
  4. Doctor’s Cat – Crash (Il Disc 8 / Italy)
  5. The Maxx – Cocaine (Acid Mix) (BCM / Germany)
  6. TNT Clan – Blow Up the DJ (Subway)
  7. Koto – Japanese War Game (Club Mix) (Il Disc 8 / Italy)
  8. Cyber People – Void Vision (Slow Version) (MEM / Italy)
  9. Beat Beat Beat – Beat in the Street (Subway)
  10. KAOS 007 – on Acid (Kaos)
  11. Snowy Red – The Long Run (Antler Subway)
  12. A Split Second – Rigor Mortis (Remix) (Antler Subway)
  13. It’s Official – Spies! (Subway Dance)
  14. Major Problem – Acid Queen (Kaos)
  15. Boy Toy – Touch My Body (Kaos)
  16. Taste of Sugar – Hmm Hmm Remix (Subway)
  17. Erotic Dissidents – Shake Your Hips (Subway)
  18. Fruit of Life – Are You Conservative? (Subway)
  19. The Brothers – Brotherhymn Remix (Subway)
  20. Snowy Red – Euroshima – Wardance (Subway)
  21. Arbeid Adelt? – Death Disco (white)

B Side:

  1. A Split Second – The Colosseum Crash Remix (Antler Subway)
  2. Scotch – Disco Band (Mach 2 Remix) (American Disco / Italy)
  3. Kasso – The Walkman (Special Dutch House Remix) (Rams Horn / Netherlands)
  4. The New Beat Sensation – Robbin’ & Stealin’ (Inst.) (Subway)
  5. New Beat Generation – Suck the Beat (Inst.) (Subway)
  6. Doctor’s Cat – Feel the Drive (Il Disc 8 / Italy)
  7. The Weathermen – Bang! (Play It Again Sam)
  8. Brotherhood of Sleep – New Beat (Inst.) (Subway)
  9. Miss Nicky Trax – Acid in the House (Kaos)
  10. HNO3 – Doughnut Dollies (R&S)
  11. Taboo – Into the Sun (Subway)
  12. Major Problem – I Still Have A Dream (Beat Box)
  13. Lords of Acid – I Sit on Acid (Kaos)
  14. The Executive Board – I Do Anything (XL)
  15. The Airplane Crashers – I Have A Dream (Subway)
  16. The Hardsonic Bottoms 3 – Do It Any Way You Wanna (6th Version) (Contempo / Italy)
  17. Lords of Acid – For Grown Ups (Complete Kaos)
  18. Plastic Bertrand – Plastiiic (Acid House Mix) (ARS)
  19. Rhythm Device – Acid Rock Remix (Inst.) (Music Man)
  20. Zsa Zsa Laboum – Tu Veux Ou Tu Veux Pas? (Complete Kaos)