Positive Agression: Tanith’s Guide to Belgian Rave and New Beat

A German techno veteran lists 10 essential tracks from the late '80s and early '90s that helped define an electronic music uprising in Belgium and beyond.

Throughout the week, Electronic Beats has rolled out the final segments of our five-part 72 Hours in Antwerp series, exploring techno’s Belgian roots. The Flemish, as A.J. Samuels and Mark Smith note, have been moving to mechanized rhythms and partying for days on end since before the concept of rave even came into being. In fact, music from Belgium made up a major proportion of the records circulating through Berlin’s early techno scene. In his guide, former Tresor resident and Berlin techno pioneer Tanith helps us navigate some key tracks from the heyday of Belgian rave. 

T99 “Anasthasia”
This track remains a Belgian anthem, and may be the boldest example of Wagnerian techno yet. Its release led to countless imitations, and the style quickly became overused and went out of favor.

Zsa Zsa Laboum “Something Scary”
New Beat par excellence. Bold and dark in a post-acid rush, with clear roots in EBM.

Agaric “I’m Gonna Beat Dis”
The title says what I always enjoyed about this music, which I like to call “positive aggression.”

Edwards & Armani “Acid Drill”
A combination of acid and drill from Belgium—the absurdity knows no end. I still laugh out loud when I hear this.

Ravebusters “Mitrax (In-Fluid)”
Contrary to popular legend, Belgium stood alongside Detroit and the UK as a pillar of the early Tresor sound. This is Belgian techno as it was at home in Tresor.

Photon “Doin Our Thang”
For me, still something like a techno freedom anthem.

The Second Wave “Let the Groove Move (Dub Mix)”
This track is still the perfect soundtrack for coming out into the light after eight hours in a dark club and taking your transport of choice through the Berlin streets, looking for your next kick. Try it out!

Liaison D “He Chilled Out”
It doesn’t have to be nosebleed all the time. This track proves the Belgians’ versatility.

Lhasa “The Attic”
This 1990 track laid the blueprint for what would become trance from ’93 onwards, without too much sugar and kitsch.

The Age of Love “The Age of Love”
Better known for its equally brilliant Jam & Spoon remix, this track is an Age of Love original.


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