A flashback to New Beat

A revolutionary genre between the 80s and 90s

A flashback to New Beat

Before Techno and Eurodance was New Beat

The 80s were particularly multifaceted in one musical aspect. The synthesizers, which were becoming more and more affordable, allowed many artists to experiment with music. As a result, the most diverse music genres developed in a short time. Among others New Beat or also Acid House. I can imagine how all the haters want to tear the list apart with phrases like “This is not a New Beat you fool” or “This track has nothing to do with Acid House”. However, it has to be said that the transitions between these two genres, without any technical gimmickry, are very fluent and almost seamless.

A definition of New Beat

Wikipedia to New Beat: “New Beat is a style of Belgian underground music and subculture that fused techno and acid genres that flourished in Western Europe during the late-1980s. It is a type of electronic dance music and electronic body music that was played at a slower speed and influenced the evolution of industrial dance music.”. Read the full Wikipedia article to New Beat.

Wikipedia to Acid House: “Acid House (also simply known as just “acid”) is a subgenre of house music developed around the mid-1980s by DJs from Chicago. The style was defined primarily by the “squelching” sounds and deep basslines of the Roland TB-303 electronic bass synthesizer-sequencer. Acid House spread to the United Kingdom and continental Europe, where it was played by DJs in the Acid House and later rave scenes. By the late 1980s, Acid House had moved into the British mainstream, where it had some influence on pop and dance styles.”. Read the full Wikipedia article to Acid House.

My personal past with New Beat music

I came into contact with electronic music at an early age. At that time I always moved somewhere between Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and The Cure. But especially as a teenager you’re not really musically established yet and of course you’re quickly musically impressed and influenced by new impressions. So it happened that from the mid 80s to the early 90s electronic music with cool samples and new sonic mixes of the genres fascinated me. And I’m not ashamed to say that I also bought some Singles and Maxis of the music videos listed below.

The older visitors might know some tracks from the list, at least I hope so. The younger ones get lessons in the “cool scene” of club music of that time. Even if I liked some tracks, I never belonged to this scene. Therefore the songs were never dark and serious enough for me. But it was new and so different and for a short time it feels like the future of music.

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Let’s go on with the list “A flashback to New Beat”

1. Krush – House Arrest

Official music video ‘House Arrest’ performed by ‘Krush’ released on the Single ‘House Arrest (The Beat Is The Law)’ (1987).

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2. Coldcut – Doctorin’ the House (Feat. Yazz & The Plastic Population)

Official music video ‘Doctorin’ the House (Feat. Yazz & The Plastic Population)’ performed by ‘Coldcut’ taken from the album ‘What’s That Noise?’ (1989).

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3. Taste Of Sugar ‎- Hmm Hmm

Official music video ‘Hmm Hmm’ performed by ‘Taste Of Sugar’ taken from the album ‘Tuut..!’ (1989). This track was also part on the compilation ‘Belgian Dance Classix 2’.

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4. S’Express – Theme from S’Express

Official music video ‘Theme from S’Express’ performed by ‘S’Express’ taken from the album ‘Original Soundtrack’ (1989).

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5. OK – Okay

Official music video ‘Okay’ by German band ‘OK’. The track is taken from the album ‘Bang!’ (1989).

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6. Bruce & Bongo – Geil

Official music video ‘Geil’ performed by ‘Bruce & Bongo’ taken from the album ‘The Geil Album’ (1986).

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7. M|A|R|R|S – Pump Up The Volume

Official music video ‘Pump Up The Volume’ by ‘M|A|R|R|S’ taken from the Single ‘Pump Up The Volume’ (1987).

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8. Mysterious Art – Das Omen

Official music video ‘Das Omen’ performed by ‘Mysterious Art’ taken from the album ‘Omen – The Story’ (1989).

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9. Confettis — The Sound Of C

Official music video ‘The Sound Of C’ performed by ‘Confettis’ taken from the album ’92…Our First Album’ (1989).

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10. Bomb The Bass – Beat Dis

Official music video ‘Beat Dis’ by ‘Bomb The Bass’ taken from the album ‘Into The Dragon’ (1988). Side note: This is my first self bought Vinyl Single.

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11. Silicon Dream – Albert Einstein

Musical performance of ‘Albert Einstein’ by ‘Silicon Dream’. The track ist taken from the album ‘Time Machine’ (1988).

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12. Yello – The Race

Official music video ‘The Race’ performed by ‘Yello’ taken from the album ‘Flag’ (1988). I guess, this is the most famous track in this list, right? Otherwise let me know in the comments.

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13. The KLF – America What Time is Love

Official music video ‘America What Time is Love’ performed by ‘The KLF’ taken from the same-titled Single ‘America What Time is Love’ (1991). 1991 reworking of the group’s 1988 hit “What Time Is Love?” featuring the vocals of former Deep Purple vocalist and bassist, Glenn Hughes.

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14. The Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode

Offiial music video ‘Ebeneezer Goode’ performed by ‘The Shamen’ taken from the album ‘Boss Drum’ (1992).

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15. Nomad – Devotion

Official music video ‘Devotion’ performed by ‘Nomad’ taken from the album ‘Changing Cabins’ (1991).

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16. Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam

Official music video ‘Pump Up The Jam’ performed by ‘Technotronic’ taken from the same-titled album ‘Pump Up The Jam’ (1989).

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17. Erotic Dissidents – Move Your Ass

Musical performance of ‘Move Your Ass’ by ‘Erotic Dissidents’. The track ist taken from the album ‘Naked Angel’ (1989).

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18. 16BIT – Where are you

Official music video ‘Where Are You’ performed by ’16BIT’ taken from the album ‘Inaxycvgtgb’ (1987).

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19. Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish – Male Stripper

Official music video ‘Male Stripper’ performed by ‘Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish’ (1987).

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The path for Techno and Eurodance is paved

The early 90s was the end of New Beat and Acid House. The electronic music of the 90s was overtaken and dominated by Techno and Eurodance. I also think that the 90s was a dark decade for dark Synth Pop and Dark Wave. It degenerated more into a fun society where serious issues played a minor role. There are many reasons for this. Probably the opening of the East, the German reunification, the rejection of the ‘No Future’ movement of the 80s and many more. But to philosophize about this would go beyond the scope of this article.

Help us to make the next list

If you were inspired by this article and know also some New Beat or Acid House songs that I don’t mentioned here, let us know and use comment section below or get in touch with us via E-Mail!

Do you would like to see a similar article about another genre? Same here, just get in touch with us.

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  1. There’s a lot of much darker New Beat.

    InD – Virgins In D-Sky’s
    Public Relations – Public Relations
    JC Project – Andromedia
    HN03 – Doughnut Dollies
    Microchip League – Satellite
    Rhythm Device – Acid Rock
    Central Unit – Computer Music
    L&O – Even Now
    Metropolis – Poseidon
    Mental Overdrive – Theme of St. Baafs (The Bells)

    Even Depeche Mode had a drker New Beat track “Never Let Me Down Again (The Aggro Mix)”

    1. Thank you very much for sharing this tracks with us and our visitors. As a big Depeche Mode fan I know the track ‘Never Let Me Down Again (The Aggro Mix)’ of course. But I never saw it from the point of view of “New Beat”. Now that I’m paying attention to it I have to say, yes there are indeed “New Beat” elements. Thanks for this eye opener.

      1. NP! I adore New Beat. Coming up in the G/I scene in the late-90’s, I always preferred dancing to the more mid-tempo EBM music, and New Beat is perfect for that!

        Here’s a few more I picked up recently:

        Traxx – Malfunction
        Plastic* – Slave To The Beat (*Plastic Bertrand solo)
        Kings of Agreppo – Agreppo
        Jade 4U – That Boy (solo project of Lords of Acid’s singer)
        Tribe 22 – Aciiiiiiied-New Beat (this one just slays)
        Boy Toy – Touch My Body
        101 – Rock to The Beat
        Major Problem – Acid Queen
        Public Relation – Eighty Eight

        I’m still finding new cuts all the time too! Gotta love how bottomless a lot of genres are, when you take the time to dig in them! :D

        And on a completely unrelated note, I highly recommend The Shamen’s first album “Drop”, it is not New Beat, Acid House, or anything close to that. But it is a seriously well produced homage to late 60’s dark-Psychedelic Rock.

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