Ro Maron Collected #1 (New Beat) Vinyl 2LP+CD

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LAB REVIEW

Oh the power of Belgian New Beat! The oft maligned genre came out of Belgium's long lasting and ongoing club scene. Musically it takes bits and pieces from new wave, EBM, and Chicago acid and turns them into something entirely Belgian. It grew out of the Belgian DJ's propensity to play records at the wrong speed, specifically playing records at 33 RPM that were supposed to be played at 45. The result was the genre's perpetually chugging rhythm which was further underscored by stretched out bass lines and a heavier sound. And there was plenty of sub bass vibrating at unusual frequencies to go around. Despite being a decidedly underground affair, New Beat went through something of a boom. At its height, records were selling at what would be the equivalent of Gold and Platinum levels in Belgium, and there were plenty of bandwagon jumpers. One such fellow was Rembert De Smet, a former new waver and eventual flamenco guitarist. His main goal seemed to be producing as much New Beat as possible and getting it out on record as soon as he could. After finding local success with the synth pop act 2 Belgen, in the early 80s, he moved on to New Beat as the genre started to catch one. He took on he name Ro Maron and went on to produce a mountain of tunes under a bewildering amount of aliases. He worked solo and in collaboration with producers like Ferre Baelen and Jean-Lou Nowe, and released tracks under artist names like acts like Zsa Zsa LaBoum, Air of Gloom, Kaos 007, 2 Body's, Trance Trax, and Beat Beat Beat. The majority of the material featured on Collected #1 was produced and recorded between 1988 and 1990. As much as De Smet may have been commercially motivated, it's easy to see from the tracks featured here that he helped to push the genre forward.

  • includes CD
  • music label: Musique Pour La Danse 2015
reviewed by Joey Coco 03/2015



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