New Wave Compilations: A Young Persons Guide To “From Brussels With Love”

It was at some point probably in 1983, that I was in Crunchy Armadillo Records and chanced to see a cassette that looked unique enough to actually peruse. This was probably the second pre-recorded cassette I ever bought, following B.E.F.’s “Music For Stowaways.” It was a Belgian compilation, and my first exposure to the Euro label Les Disques Du Crépuscule; a label which, ultimately, I found I could buy anything they ever released to some sort of pleasure. Why did I bite on the tape? Well, it featured both Bill Nelson and fave rave artist John Foxx; the latter with material that seemed to be exclusive to the tape. And hey, boy howdy, there was Thomas Dolby and an interview with Brian Eno! It seemed like there were all sorts of goodies to be had here.

Les Disques Du Crépuscule | BEN | Cassette | 1980 | TWI 007

Various Artists: From Brussels With Love BEN Cassette [1980]

  1. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:25
  2. Thomas Dolby – Airwaves
  3. Repetition – Stranger
  4. Harold Budd – Children On The Hill
  5. Durutti Column – Sleep Will Come
  6. Martin Hannett – The Music Room
  7. The Names – Cat
  8. Michael Nyman – A Walk Through H
  9. Brian Eno – An Interview With Brian Eno
  10. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:08
  11. Jeanne Moreau – Un Entretien Avec Jeanne Moreau
  12. Richard Jobson – Armoury Show
  13. Bill Nelson – The Shadow Garden
  14. Durutti Column – Piece For An Ideal
  15. A Certain Ratio – Felch
  16. Kevin Hewick/New Order – Haystack
  17. Radio Romance – Etrange Affinite
  18. Gavin Bryars – White’s S.S.
  19. Der Plan – Mein Freunde
  20. Dome – Twist Up
  21. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:13

The Foxx pieces were scant “jingles” as advertised. A woosh of synth here or there with no structural foundation to speak of. Ambience, not songs. The Dolby track sounded like a [mono] home demo for his track “Airwaves.” Harold Budd I was familiar with through his and Eno’s gorgeous “Plateaux Of Mirror” album. He’s been reliably beautiful piano throughout my life and  his track here is more of that sauce.

I was familiar with The Skids a little bit, and knew Richard Jobson, but his appearance here is a poem, not a song. His deep Scottish accent enhances his delivery if you’re me. Your mileage may vary. This was my first glimpse that Jobson would color outside the lines throughout his career. I just saw a film he wrote and produced [“Heartlands”] that was a generous validation for his polymath status.

The Kevin Hewick + New Order track was an experiment with Kevin fronting the three surviving members of Joy Division, prior to their deciding to carry on as New Order. A weird glimpse at an alternate future that never was. It sounds like nothing else in the Joy Division or New Order canon.

One of my favorite tracks here was Der Plan’s “Mein Freunde.” This was my initial exposure to the loopy Neue Deutsche Welle band and it would convince me to buy anything else that I saw by that group. Sadly, this has meant a single Japanese CD to date. I’d certainly love to hear more.

As is the case with Les Disques Du Crépuscule, many of the artists here have ties to the UK label Factory Records, but LDC was always the evasive European cousin to that boutique label. Like Factory, they also had a distinctive graphic designer overseeing the label’s image; in this case Benoit Hennebert instead of Peter Saville. This compilation managed the neat trick of cohering while remaining eclectic. It ran gleefully all over the sonic map while the truth was, if you liked any of the artists on it, you could probably like them all.

And if you liked them all, you were rewarded if you paid attention since the label issued this compilation in four distinct versions throughout the last 32 years. The next copy to appear was the much-longed-for Japanese 2xLP version from 1983. It has a different look and some distinct changes in the program for this other market.

Les Disques Du Crépuscule | JPN | 2xLP | 1983 | TWI 008

Various Artists: From Brussels With Love JPN 2xLP [1983]

Side A

  1. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:36 
  2. The Border Boys – When Will You Be Back? 
  3. Thomas Dolby – Airwaves 
  4. Harold Budd – Children On The Hill 
  5. The Durutti Column – Sleep Will Come 
  6. Michael Nyman – A Walk Through H 
  7. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:00 

Side B

  1. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:18 
  2. Soft Verdict – The Fosse 
  3. Brian Eno – Interview
  4. Gavin Bryars – White’s S.S. 
  5. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:00 

Side C

  1. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:20 
  2. Antena – Seaside Weekend 
  3. The Durutti Column – Weakness And Fever 
  4. A Certain Ratio – Felch 
  5. Kevin Hewick/New Order – Haystack 
  6. Karel Goeyvaerts – Ach Golgotha 
  7. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:00 

Side D

  1. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:41
  2. Jeanne Moreau – Un Entretien Avec Jeanne Moreau 
  3. Richard Jobson – Armoury Show 
  4. Bill Nelson – The Shadow Garden 
  5. Richard Jobson & His Friends From Tuxedomoon – Orphée 
  6. John Foxx – A Jingle 0:00

Intriguing! This one had six different tracks and each LP side begins and ends with a John Foxx “jingle.” Needless to say, this is in the want list for when my ship comes in as a copy is generally in the $50 range. I’m well familiar with the Antena track, but I’m most intrigued by the Richard Jobson/Tuxedomoon teamup on “Orphée.” Is it a song or a poem with musical backing [not the same thing]? One way to find out; or would that be fifty?

Les Disques Du Crépuscule | BEN | 2xLP | 1986 | TWI 007

Various Artists: From Brussels With Love BEN 2xLP [1986]

Side A

  1. John Foxx – Musique D’Ameublement 0:30
  2. Thomas Dolby – Airwaves
  3. Harold Budd – Children On The Hill
  4. The Durutti Column – Sleep Will Come
  5. Dream Makers – Helen’s Song
  6. The Durutti Column – Weakness And Fever
  7. Michael Nyman – A Walk Through H

Side B

  1. John Foxx – Musique D’Ameublement 0:14
  2. Gavin Bryars – White’s S
  3. The Durutti Column – Piece For An Ideal
  4. Kevin Hewick/New Order – Haystack
  5. A Certain Ratio – Felch (Live)
  6. The French Impressionists – Rainbows Never End / Waiting For Someone / Castles In The Air / Mannequin

Side C

  1. John Foxx – Musique D’Ameublement 0:14
  2. Brian Eno – An Interview With Brian Eno
  3. Bill Nelson – The Shadow Garden
  4. Jeanne Moreau – Un Entretien Avec Jeanne Moreau
  5. Richard Jobson – Armoury Show

Side D

  1. John Foxx – Musique D’Ameublement 0:35
  2. Alan Rankine – Can You Believe Everything I See?
  3. Gabrielle Lazure – A Children’s Tale
  4. Martin Hannett – The Music Room
  5. The Pale Fountains featuring Blaine L. Reininger – We Have All The Time In The World
  6. The Names – Cat

Not to be outdone, the labels native Belgian outlet issued the first European edition of the compilation on vinyl in 1986. It returns some tracks from the initial cassette, but loses half of the Foxx jingles, labelled “furniture music” here, en Français, tellingly. I’m most intrigued by The Pale Fountains with Tuxedomoon vocalist/violinist Blaine L. Reininger guesting. I don’t have one of these either, but the next edition is ensconced safely within my Record Cell!

Interphon | GER | CD | 1987 | IPCD 72001

Various Artists: From Brussels With Love GER CD [1987]

  1. John Foxx – Musique D’Ameublement
  2. Thomas Dolby – Airwaves
  3. Harold Budd – Children On The Hill
  4. The Durruti Column – Sleep Will Come
  5. Dream Makers – Helen’s Song
  6. Alan Rankine – Can You Believe Everything I See?
  7. Gabrielle Lazure – A Children’s Tale
  8. Brian Eno – An Interview With Brian Eno
  9. Bill Nelson – The Shadow Garden
  10. Richard Jobson – Armoury Show
  11. The Durutti Column – Piece For An Ideal
  12. Gavin Bryars – White’s SS
  13. Kevin Hewick/New Order – Haystack
  14. Jeanne Moreau – Un Entretien Avec Jeanne Moreau
  15. Michael Nyman – A Walk Through H
  16. John Foxx – Untitled Jingle

Naturellement, I pounced on the initial German CD as it was the first such beast unleashed on the world. courtesy of the Interphon label, who had a release agreement with Crépuscule during that period. The big feature here is a fantastic, long [nearly 12 minute] remix of the track which was earlier the title cut to his “The World Begins To Look Her Age” album. It’s called “Can You Believe Everything I see?” here but Associates cognoscenti will know how to call a spade a spade.

LTM Publishing | UK | CD | 2007 | LTMCD 2479

Various Artists: From Brussels With Love UK CD [2007]

  1. John Foxx – A Jingle *1 0:35
  2. Thomas Dolby – Airwaves
  3. Repetition – Stranger
  4. Harold Budd – Children On The Hill
  5. The Durutti Column – Sleep Will Come
  6. Martin Hannett – The Music Room
  7. The Names – Cat
  8. Michael Nyman – A Walk Through H
  9. Brian Eno – An Interview With Brian Eno
  10. Jeanne Moreau – Un Entretien Avec Jeanne Moreau
  11. Richard Jobson – Armoury Show
  12. Bill Nelson – The Shadow Garden
  13. The Durutti Column – Piece For An Ideal
  14. Kevin Hewick/New Order – Haystack
  15. Radio Romance – Etrange Affinite
  16. Gavin Bryars – White’s S.S.
  17. Der Plan – Mein Freunde
  18. Dome – Twist Up
  19. John Foxx – A Jingle *2 0:40

Finally, LTM, the modern UK CD arm of Les Disques Du Crépuscule stepped into the breach and issued this first edition of the “From Brussels With Love” compilation for twenty years! It comes closest to the mark for replicating the original Belgian cassette, with only a few tracks excised for time constraint, and for the first time ever, no new material injected into the mix. If you’ve never head the pleasure, this will be the easiest version to buy. Just click here. And you’ll be rewarded with an eccentric and adventurous compilation that’s still artistically valid 32 years later.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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One Response to New Wave Compilations: A Young Persons Guide To “From Brussels With Love”

  1. Echorich says:

    I am amazed at how many of the same records – tape in this case – we own! You get major props for finding this an many things as wonderfully obscure outside of NYC!!! I had it easy in comparison.
    This is great. I need to find that 2007 compilation as I have no idea how deeply burried the cassette may be and I would not want to play it anyway.

    Like

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