Patrick, Raymond, Marianne, Roland, Kevin and Bert. These are among the most common and ordinary names in Belgium. Yet, these are also the names of some of the artists that appear of 'Discophilia Beligica', a 30-track compilation from groove-heavy record label SDBAN. No fancy alter-egos here.
Compiled by cratediggers Loud E & The Wild, 'Discophilia Belgica' is released 16th November and is a collection of next-door-disco and local spacemusic from Belgium 1975-1987. The tracks on this delightfully obscure collection are from ordinary folk. Most have day jobs. Yet as musicians, they go as far out as possible in to the disco universe and back again. Not too serious or overambitious and definitely not overproduced. This is stripped down space music. This is next door disco.
The choice of music is not a reflection of an actual 'scene'. In fact, most of the bands here have probably never performed live. The 30 tracks on this compilation are the result of a decade of crate digging in flea markets, charity shops, and vinyl trades and picking out what might appeal to a contemporary dancefloor or just to our deranged and perhaps adventurous earbuds.
That being said, there are not many countries that can provide you with the wonderful diversity and weirdness of the sounds you'll find here. Belgians have a great passion for music and there is an abundance of recording studios, impresarios, local radio stations and pressing plants. Bars and clubs sit side by side, providing a soundtrack for our ordinary lives and it's here where Patrick, Raymond, Roland or Marianne draw inspiration that led them into the studio and pick up a mic, a bass or synthesizer, making music to groove to, feel sexy to and be free. You are your master.
From R. Roland's French-pop inspired 'Ethero-Disco' and Carl Watson's sleazy jazz flute heavy 'King Kong' to the C.C. Band's disco floor filler 'Be My Love Tonight', 'Discophilia Belgica' is a collection of odd and sods, the weird and the wonderful.
A special mention should go to the uncrowned king of next-door-disco: Artibano Benedetto. The un-assuming Italian, who works out of a garage in the unglamorous town of La Louvière, is one of the only "professional" musicians on this compilation. After a successful career with the late 70s/early 80s band i dragoni, he started to produce music for local artists and musicians in the area in need of a studio or technical knowhow. The result? The soul-singing Dan Davis, the outrageous synthesized bagpipe discofest The Diskery, the spaced out Holger Czukay-esque Rayon Laser and the Arabian sleeze of Alabibi. Oh yes, Benedetto is still very much at it. His DIY ethic to music is the embodiment of next door disco and provincial space music.
CD version released on 2CD jewel case in slipcase.
VINYL version released on 2 x 2LP 180gr vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with liner notes.