German / European Goth / Post Punk from April 1983. Formed in 1982, the members of Belfegore had their origins in equally notable projects, including Nichts and Die Krupps. They were part of Neue Deutsche Welle (German New Wave)
Short-lived but hugely influential, Belfegore was the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and singer Meikel Clauss. Creating the same dark atmosphere as The Cure and Bauhaus, with melodic bass and treated guitar. The rest of the line-up included Siggi Sessenhausen,(drums) Michael Grund and Walter Jaeger (Synth and Bass – uncredited). Recorded in Can’s Inner Space Studio in Cologne. It was recorded with René Tinner and Grund
“Glashaus” is swirling Goth. “Herz Atmet Echos” Mutant Dub with Tribal beats, “Deutsche Mark’n Bein” starts off like The Moomins!!! Distorted vocals like The Fall. The tempo is dropped for the more Goth “Ridiculous”, melancholic with spoken lyrics. The title track is quite Punk (well Post Punk) “WOW” brings on the funk, P-Funk almost. “Schattenwelt” is heavier with shouty lyrics and buzz saw guitar effects. The following track is quite experimental in the vein of early Einsturzende Neubauten, atmospheric and dark. Closing track, “Tod Durch Die Blume” is a driving Goth / Punk along the lines of The Birthday Party.
A diverse treat.
Sendspace is playing up…..a good thing I hear you cry!
Pure Freude – PF 28 CK 14
||Mensch Oder Gott
||Herz Atmet Echos
||Deutsche Mark’n Bein
||A Dog Is Born
||Der Fall Des IQ
||Tod Durch Die Blume
The 1984 track which featured Fairlight from Art Of Noise’s J.J. By this time Visage comprised of the Barnacle Brothers, Dave Formula, Andy Barnett, Rusty and Strange
After not hearing it for ages it does sound quite similar to Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” in places. The Ure sounding guitar and sampled bass keep it driving forward. Weird metal percussion and samplers and a weakish vocal performance make it sound dated. Dare I say over produced by Alan Moulder and Clive Martin. Were they trying too hard. ? The stripped down “Dance Dub” is an improvement, less noodling guitar and more space for the electronics.
Polydor – POSPX 709
||Beat Boy (Dance Mix)
||Beat Boy (Dance Dub)
The full , unadulterated version in all it’s glory. I remember playing this to death when it came out. A precursor to “Rage In Eden” it had the legendary producer Conny Plank at the controls. For me it is all about that bass sequencer and the clipped rhythm , I’d never heard anything like it before. All credit for Warren Cann for it.
The Claustrophobic drums and lead violin make the B-side a gem. The way it builds taking a good minute before the song kicks in. An icy masterpiece that might of been faded out a little earlier.
Chrysalis – CHS 12 2540
||The Thin Wall
||I Never Wanted To Begin
Effortlessly cool on this early track from August 1982. Perfectly produced by Pete Walsh but not sure about the reverb on the vocals, doesn’t do Kerr any favours.
The “Theme” is the instrumental so you can get your ears around the wonderful bass line and ethereal synth chords.
An early classic from a classic band.
Virgin – VS 511-12
||Glittering Prize (Club Mix)
||Glittering Prize (Theme)
The follow up to “I Touch Roses” , an interesting message which is still relevant today. A touch of “Push It” beats (Salt n Pepa)
In the capable hands of Ivan Ivan and Steve Peck it is a pure synth sound for 1985 with a knowing retro feel to it. The Bells are actually real and not sampled , being played by band member Ted Ottaviano.
The Dub mix is a little harder for dancefloor purposes and the pick of the bunch.
“Book Of Love” sounds a bit New Order-ish, more Indie sounding but still pure synths.
Simple but effective until those bloody doorbells kick in, I blame Mike Oldfield.
Sire – 9 20299-0 A
||Boy (Extended Mix)
||Book Of Love
At the time (1983) I’d come across the tune, probably thinking it was from Kajagoogoo or Re-Flex – such was the amount of similar sounding bands around the time. I didn’t know it would be a significant 80’s track until it started appearing on 80’s compilations back in the 90’s. But only in the US not here.
Smoothly produced by Tony Mansfield. The talented duo of Rob Fisher and Peter Byrne who formed in Bath in the UK went on to conquer the US, where they chose to release their stuff. It sounds like a slick ABC. Martin Dobson provides a bit of sax with C.C Smith. Mansfield did some drum programming and added some bass guitar. Phil Towner (New Muzak, Nick Straker Band) provided real drums, if you can identify them.
EMI America – SPRO 9962
||Promises, Promises (Extended Version)
||Promises, Promises (Instrumental)
The Steve Miller Band goes for some techno rock on this 1984.
Obviously being inspired by The Cars and trying to be hip. It has lots of electronic drums and primitive samples. It sounds like a second rate Yello in places with the sampled brass and weird sounds. Fun and a definite show of versatility or a massive sell-out ?
More traditional is the B-side, “Get On Home” , some fine guitar playing and a sprinkle of synths but it is more a traditional Steve Miller sound with a guitar solo.
Capitol Records – V-8632
||Bongo Bongo (Born To Dance Mix)
||Get On Home