Dancing music in the C20: new beat (1986-88)


In the late 1980s, Europe developed its own kind of acid house – one that descended from the stiff, hard, aggressive, hyper-masculine Industrial and Electronic Body Music traditions. This European techno variant, called New Beat, was an apocalyptic sort of post-nuclear pop that had militaristic drum machines, grand flourishes of synthesiser and dystopian overtones.

Spotify playlist: early new beat (1986-88)

If, as we discussed in our recent blog on the sounds of Miami bass, in America, being a Transformer was very cool, in Europe, the imminent threat of nuclear armageddon was very ‘in’, as songs like Euroshima  (get it?!) and CCCP’s Made in Russia demonstrate.

A Split Second – Flesh

Being mostly from Belgium, there was also an unapologetically weird Eurotrashy view of sex in new beat records that Antone de Caunes would be proud of.

Lords of Acid – I Sit on Acid