A flashback to New Beat

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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