site logo Articles Nederlandstalige versie

Introduction   Articles   Releases   Compilations   Charts   Succession   Availability   Video   Links   Site Info
  • Article : Morton, Sherman & Bellucci interview
  • Author : Guido Van den Troost
  • Origin : Fabiola magazine issue 31 - February 1989
  • Translation : the webmaster (Webmaster's comments are between "<" and ">")
  • Printer-friendly version (opens in a new window)
In 1988 Morton, Sherman and Bellucci brought out a new record every single week. As Erotic Dissidents they eventually started to perform, playback that is, but the moral majority knew what to talk about after seeing one of their shows. The anonymity they hid behind at first was lifted a short while ago, which led to the appearance of Roland "Bellucci" Beelen, founder of Antler and Subway Records and producer of plenty of Belgian tracks, and with him two members of the band Poésie Noire, Jo "Morton" Casters and Herman "Sherman" Gillis.

Erotic Dissidents (from Fabiola nr.31) Why all the mysteriousness ?

Morton : "Mysteries are generally very fascinating and we thought we could use a bit of extra attention. We wanted to do things that weren't possible with our band Poésie Noire. Although I have to tell that Poésie Noire has always been a band making alternative dance music. We even released material that did very well in the clubs. But this had to go way beyond that."

Nevertheless the Timber 12-inch single already seemed to be an obvious attempt to make New Beat.

"Yes, that's true, but Timber was foremost a reaction to our "Tetra"-LP, which was very heavy soundwise and totally unfit to dance to. We wanted to have a real dance record as successor. It appeared to have quite a bit of impact and by then people wanted us to do playback performances, something we definitely didn't want to do with Poésie Noire. Just for fun we created Move Your Ass during the Tetra-sessions. A joke with which we amused ourselves quite well. But when that joke actually started to sell big time we knew we could use a lot of ideas creating those kind of tracks and that's why we started the production of so many of them. Right from the start MSB appeared to be a winning combination. I map out the necessities, take care of examples and sampling, Sherman takes care of all the technical stuff and Bellucci does the mixing. The team is very tight and resourceful and can react to new scene-variations very fast. We've started to work on the World Today catalogue and also made an Acid-LP by now. On the B-side of Balearic Beach is a real full blown P-funk track. We also tried to make danceable reggae. We want to try out new things all of the time."

To what extent are DJ's involved in the production process ?

"There have always been quite a few of them which were allowed to hear the original tapes and afterwards they told us what was wrong with the track(s). In the beginning everything was way too complicated for them. We changed what the DJ's suggested even when we thought the end-result sounded very boring. But after the track was released they were always proven right. Later new influences arrived and by then breaks and also a track that was more intricate were O.K. So now we've come full circle : back then they told us what we had to leave out and now we're adding stuff again, while they are still able to keep their crowds on the dancefloor with our tracks."

You can't appear on the cover, you don't have a real band and DJ's are telling you how your record has to sound. Is it really necessary to say goodbye to your own personality to create New Beat ?

"With MSB we don't think a personal cult is all that important, in the end the female singer of Erotic Dissidents is much more important than the production team."

She also looks better wearing a garter than you guys. By the way, which one of you really is the biggest pervert ?

"That sex-image you mean... Well, you know, when Erotic Dissidents had a hit on the national charts the radio-presenter offered his apologies twice because of the fact dirty talk was about to be aired. I was very amused with that. If you really want to hear dirty talk one should listen to Karen Finley <like her song Tales of Taboo>. Now that's really filthy, what we do is still very tame. Besides, I think the title "Move your ass and feel the beat" is quite good, we're proud of it. The fact that all sorts of magazines used it as well proves it was a good find."

The best thing that could happen now would be for the BBC to censor one of your records.

"I'd prefer them to play our records actually. Then we would be able to say to the people at Studio Brussel <a national radio-station, specialised in alternative music>, look, you're falling behind, they're doing it!"

A guitar, do you still remember what that looks like ?

"Look, my musical roots are Front 242 and Jacques Brel. Front have built something overhere. New Beat is nothing more or less than a commercialised version of their electronic body music. But whenever I'm playing music just for myself I take out my little folk-guitar and Brel is my hero. I'm a guitar player, but earn a living with my computer."

And that probably handles the MSB accounting as well ?

"Yes, we're compatible."