The extended interview I (The Horrorist) did at the Rockerill Festival in Belgium is now online (link) at Reflections of Darkness. I talk candidly about pretty much everything including EBM, New Beat, the 80s, performing live, love, drugs, New York and much more.
“she said: “Let me hear your music” and she did an amazing thing. When she heard my early music, which was all about “I hate this” and “I’m gonna kill you”, she said: “Oliver, this is all about yourself! You were singing about yourself. You hate yourself and you’re singing about it!”
This weekend I performed at the infamous Rockerill Festival in Charleroi, Belgium. Charleroi is about 40 minutes from Brussels. People from Belgium call it their version of Detroit. It is a very industrial looking city with huge factories and crumbling buildings. I was lucky to be picked up from the airport by two of the artists that were performing: Elzo Durt & Singularity (Raul Borges). To my great joy Front 242 was playing on the car ride. Being in Belgium that was exactly the right start to what would be an incredible weekend.
Rockerfill takes place in massive abandoned factory complex. It’s several super sized rooms with very high ceilings made of concrete and steel. When I arrived DjPute-Acier was playing. He did an incredible EBM/Techno set. The link to that set is below. Be sure to take a listen to it and I noticed that Download is enabled to grab it while you can. The sound system was sharp and clear and was slightly echoing off the massive room’s walls. I had some good friends show up including Ethan Fawkes and Lady Lupa. Downstairs metal bands performed in a packed room with balconies surrounding it. I could barely squeeze over the edge to see down at the madness. I was pretty shocked when I was told that was the stage I would be playing on!
I took the stage and soon after mind stopped thinking about my day job, love life, Tiffy, NYC, the spring flowers. Those images disappeared and off I went screaming in the night. At one point I stepped into the crowd and a was lifted into the air. For about five minutes I was tossed around dropped, picked up again and somehow ended up back on stage mic and light in hand wholly unbruised. The night went long into the next day. At 44 years old I crowd surfed for the first time and yet that probably wasn’t even the close to the most interesting thing I did that weekend. Until next time Belgium!
“The Horrorist & Minimum Syndicat ont tout déchiré, c’est comme si j’y étais encore!” – Frédéric Dem
This weekend I will perform in Charleroi, Belgium at the famous Rockerill Festival! On Saturday night I will take the stage with not only electronic musician but those also holding guitars and banging on real drums. I have interviews set up for Reflections of Darkness and MusicZine. I am very excited to play at this one and have a lot of friends meeting me there. If you can make it you won’t be disappointed!
“Hello the Kids! The Rockerill Festival will open soon 18 h exposure serigraphs in Forges: 9 artists who made the most pockets pockets vyniles recent months … Then two scenes, 5 rock bands Garage-punk-psyche from the two labels organizers Rockerill Records and Teenage Menopause (Brussels-Paris); After the concert, we go to electro, techno, acid and all night long!” – rockerill.com
Ugly Mood is Gery Francois, Tony Baron, Lee Kane. As most proper New Beat this is from Belgium. Recorded in 1989. I slow the slow tempo and clear synths on this.
“New beat is an electronic dance music term that was used in the 1980s with two different meanings, one a collective term used in the U.S. for various electronic music styles, and the other a reference to the new beat sound: a particular electronic music genre that flourished in Western Europe during the mid-1980s. New beat is also used as a reference to the wider Belgian underground music scene and subculture during the 1980s” – Wikipedia
Belgians Walter Verdin, Hilde van Roy and Dett Peyskens released this song Wavin in 1983. Search Pas De Deux as they have some other interesting songs.
“Pas De Deux represented Belgium for the 1983 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The mainstream audience did not understand this unconventional song (a simple tune and just one line of text: ‘Rendez-vous. Maar de maat is vol, en mijn kop is toe’). The band ended third from last. Nonetheless ‘Rendez-Vous’ became a big summer hit in Belgium that year. Pas De Deux released one mini-album and a couple of singles.” – discogs.com
The Belgian electronic body music group Front 242 is one of my all time favorite bands. Anything before the album Tyranny for You was incredibly original and creative. Like many great bands that continue to make music there is a cut off where things changed. The early albums which focused on Jean-Luc De Meyer vocals and military aesthetics had me fully hooked. Anything after that time period I simply can’t listen to. The canon of “good stuff” they recorded is large so I’m really not complaining. In the late 80s I collected every piece of 242 music and memorabilia I could find. Back then there was no eBay so Manhattan record stores were the hunting ground. The most rare thing I own is a Front by Front DAT Cassette. Every few months I still check eBay to see what 242 stuff is there. Once I saw the arm bands then someone bought them and I never saw them for sale again. Some friends (Pet Duo) of mine went to see them live in Berlin last night so I decided to look around online for old 242 stuff. Amazingly I found a blog called Front 242 Collector that has great photos of the arm bands and all sorts of finds.
“this is without a doubt one of the most collectible and hardest to come by Front 242 items: the Front 242 armband! Back in the day, before Transmission 242 there was the 242 Propaganda Unit. This was one of the “Propaganda Supports.” You can see 242 sporting this armband on the Official Warfare Tour and in videos. The armband was offered for sale in the Propaganda Unit catalogue (I will post this someday as well). The cost for the 242 Armband was 50 BF in Belgium, 70 BF in Europe, and 100 BF in other countries (+ postage). Today, when they do come up for sale, expect to pay upwards of $200-$250 at times! The armband is made of leather with beautiful “242″ stitching and attaches to the arm with velcro. The Propaganda Unit logo is stamped inside and I believe they were numbered? This example happens to be #63.” – target242
I bought the 12″ vinyl of Tragic Error’s Tanzen in 1989 from Vinyilmania on Carmine Street. This was the precursor to the techno onlsaught that was about to happen. While it may seem really silly to some we took this track very seriously. Patrick DeMeyer went on to create some monster hits has T99 and Technotronic. The other single he released that year Klatsche In Die Hände was also killer.
“Patrick DeMeyer is a Belgian songwriter, composer and producer who has written and performed with several successful elecronica acts, most notably Technotronic, T99, Daisy Dee and 2 Unlimited. Also known under the aliases Thomas De Meyer, The Beat Machine, Black Kiss, Fatal Error, G-Force, Go!, Tecno-Rockers, Tragic Error He is also considered a pioneer of early techno and electronica due to his involvement with several ground breaking acts including Technotronic and 2 Unlimited in the late eighties, and early nineties.” – wikipedia.org/Patrick_DeMeyer