Conor Thomas finally delivers his debut release for his own Reel Torque label with a two and a half hour New Beat odyssey that's been in planning for a good couple of years, always holding off for that one missing link to complete the picture. Here it finally is, as explained by the man himself...
At long fucking last I got my shit together and recorded a mix for Reel Torque; buckling up a 2.5 hour mix that traverses the timeline of Benelux New Beat, post-industrial and Euro-house thru to proto-gabber from Frankfurt, also incorporating the double-refractive influence of records from UK, Chicago and Detroit, all made circa 1986-1991. It’s an area of dancefloor history that i’m utterly fascinated by (OK, obsessed/borderline OCD about), despite the fact that I personally went from wearing nappies to primary school uniform over that original period. Although, for disambiguation; i’m not a 60 year old cosplayer.
The mix is intended to unpackage and sequence the composite elements of New Beat and its related Benelux styles, whilst also tracing its dialogue with other, international strains of house, synth-pop and EBM, effectively scanning the mosaic of what would become codified as techno, hardcore, trance in the process. In particular I selected the harder, kinkier, darker, cheesy and spaced out stripes of that sound, attempting to prove that it was a syncretic rather than homogenous genre when at its best.
Without giving the full tracklist away, the mix starts off with DM-producer Alan Wilder’s Excerpt From Stone - a certified New Beat cornerstone - and ends up in a timely manner at Mescalinum United’s Reflections of 2017, which was the B-side to Marc Arcardipane’s original gabber cornerstone, We Have Arrived (1991). What happens in between is a (mostly) chronological blend of styles taking in addictive euro-house by a former Belgian winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, plus a prototype of Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam feat. Eddie Murphy, along with some of New Beat’s most sought-after holy grails (and previously unreleased blinders!), before twisting back and forth between proto-goa trance, loony Belgian techno, and even giving some context to AFX’s SAW 85-92 sound.
It was mixed and recorded off a blend of original vinyl and reissues of old tape releases which have bubbled up in recent years, with CDJs for bits that aren’t on wax, and all mixed in one take (although this is the 2nd take to be totally fair). At this point, credit is due to the obscure archiving genius of YouTube hero Ambobeat as well as the legendary Acid Alan and V/Vm, whose non pareil New Beat record collection and near-canonical SABAM series, respectively, first planted the seeds of intrigue in my mental darkroom over ten years ago. Special thanks to Mark Borgions and Dirk Desaever.
Oh, and that briefcase you see in the images here isn't included with the release - but we are giving it away, complete with the two gold tapes and a 4-colour, riso-printed A3 poster by John Powell-Jones (limited edition of 1!!), as well as a hand-engraved plaque - with space left for YOUR NAME to be engraved on it. To be in the running to get the personalised briefcase, all you've got to do is buy this release and then send an email with your order number to email@example.com and write down the best fake New Beat artist name you can think of. The one we like the best will win the engraved suitcase (although you'll have to give us a few days to get the plaque engraved) - we'll let the lucky winner know by email on or before Monday December 19th!