Boomkat Product Review:
Very necessary New Beat / Acid House / early Belgian techno survey highlighting the pivotal output of Rembert De Smet aka Ro Maron. Hailed as "one of the top 5 best users of a 303 of all time" by JD Twitch (Optimo), Maron defined The Sound of Belgium circa '87-'90 with a string of then-unprecedented productions spinning elements of Chicago House, EBM and Freestyle Electro with a glammed-up Belgalo swagger and fizzy, melodic mentalism that remedied the relative cheese of prolific New Beat production team, Morton Sherman Bellucci, for example. After pop success in the mid '80s with 2 Belgen, Maron was one of the earliest adopters of the sound which ruled European and even selectr Detroit/Chicago/New York dancefloors during that era, setting the foundations for what would refract into myriad strains of Hardcore Rave, Techno and Goan Trance by normalising the nastiest electronic sounds with a real knack for 'floor-clawing hooks and grooves. As history tells us, that scene soon collapsed due to rabid commercial exploitation, but left us with a wealth of music that has long been snubbed as dumb or daft by techno snobs, but also utterly adored by everyone from V/Vm to AFX and Powell. These 35 tracks run the gamut of New Beat, from Maron's finest moment with Zsa Zsa La Boum's techno pop masterpiece, 'Something Scary' to the EBM funk of his SM project and to its segue into proto Hardcore Rave and Trance with Agaric's 'Tiled Room (Reversed Mix)' or Trance Trax's 'A-Cone', via ambient sidelines as Sleepwalker and the drunken nuttiness of his Madman remix for Lords Of Acid's 'For Grown Ups', thru to the lascivious Chicago styles of 2 Body's, his house project with Maurice Engelen aka Praga Khan. It's a shame that they couldn't include their Gay version of 'French Kiss' or the naughtier, Enya-twocing mix of Air of Gloom's 'Meditation', but it still stands as one of the strongest collections of this era you'll find outside last year's TSOB boxset, illuminating the coke and düvel-fuelled alternative to the UK's MDMA-gobbling acid house scene, which would eventually splice and sample the Belgian styles to morph into the UK's explosive hardcore scene. In case you can't tell, we fxxking love this stuff and give it a massive recommendation.