Many people don’t think of Belgium as a place with a rich history of contributions to dance music. Some may only recall 2 Unlimited’s 1993 masterpiece “No Limit” or Technotronic’s classic “Pump Up The Jam”–both of which were extremely formative for me when I heard them as a little kid. Maybe others associate the country with groundbreakers like Soulwax/2manydjs, who are indeed Belgian and not French. The country is no doubt overlooked, despite the fact that Belgians have been raving since before raving was raving, and essentially birthed genres like EBM. But despite its significant contributions, Beligum’s proximity to its northern neighbors means its sound is generally associated with eurodance, gabber, and industrial influences.
For his new EP Echoes, Belgian producer D-Nite (real name Kevin Dodeur) certainly draws on his country’s history, but leaves most of those typical associations behind, instead opting to deliver a record full of strong global influence and tempo-shifting adventurism. From the rapid-fire kuduro of “Late Night Tale” to the tablas loops of “Calming Mantra” and the chopped jazz rides of “Stuck in a Dream” — Dodeur clearly embraces the breakbeat, but won’t be limited to overreliance on American JB production or UK Amens. (Not to be accused of leaving anyone out though, Dodeur does throw in a few bars of the Think break on the EP’s title track.) Dodeur is a committed travel guide on this record, insisting that the listener follow him around the world from party to party. But it’s a great trip, so who would complain?
Echoes is out now on Fine Grains records, purchase it on bandcamp now, or stream it wherever you do that sort of thing.
D-NITE – “Late Night Tale” (bc)
D-NITE – “Echoes” (bc)