Some have already spent years in the shadows, waiting for the right moment - others have barely left their bedroom studios. Some aim for headlining festival stages, others aim for nothing in particular – but all of them have developed a sound with the potential to turn a lot of heads. With this feature we shine a light on some of the most interesting emerging new talents our tiny country has to offer.
Not much is known about Belgian producer Beton, other than the fact that his career took a flying start – or how else would you describe releasing your debut single on Catz ‘n Dogz’ PETS Recordings? But it doesn’t stop there. In the meantime, this Antwerp native has launched his own record label, ‘Trek U Plan’, with a beautiful vinyl release and support from some very important heads like François K, Marco Carola, Slam and Davide Squillace. As a solid EP coming on Tiga’s Turbo Recordings is coming very soon, things are looking bright for Beton. We were eager to get to know the man behind this raw, straightforward techno sound – probably the best of its kind we’ve heard in a long time.
A first, stellar release on Catz ’n Dogz’ PETS Recordings: not bad for a debut single. How did that come about?
"Thanks! I have been a fan of their label and DJ-sets for a while now, so this move just made sense for me. I knew they like to play these kind of raw tracks, so I sent them some sketches, hoping they would like it. I’m glad they did."
It’s obvious you like your sounds rugged, powerful and uncomplicated. Is that the result of a love history with older Belgian techno and EBM?
"I think this is the result of growing up here. I’m sure some of you remember that not so long ago, people would drive around in tuned cars blasting I Love Techno or Cherry Moon mixes filled with trance and pop house hits. My older brother also played this stuff out. I was a pretty young at this point, but I remember hating it – but also kind of loving it. I guess that eventually it must have rubbed off on me a little. It was all very simple and raw stuff, but it did the trick. I listened to many Belgian artists, but often I had no idea they were actually from here. In the end it is really inspiring for me."
How did you fall in love with house and techno in the first place? What made you start producing music?
"I honestly wouldn’t know, because it was just like that ever since I can remember. One day I was bored, so I started teaching myself how to produce music. I found myself trying to emulate 2manydjs' mixes with some really bad software. Later on, I discovered actual DAW's and started fooling around with it, in order to try and figure out how the songs I listened to were made. I love being bored."
There’s a forthcoming vinyl release on Tiga’s Turbo Recordings that will drop soon. That's not bad at all...
"Yes, it is called ‘Directions’ and it features producer Wevie Stonder. I was inspired to make this track after I saw the ‘The Sound Of Belgium’ documentary. Tiga said it is one of the best records he has heard in the past few years, so needless to say I’m really excited. Turbo really was the first label that came to mind when I wanted to test the waters. It’s a record that I’ve been wanting to make for over 10 years. I heard this voice in a mix by Jerome Hill a long time ago and I’ve kept it in my mind ever since. When I actually found it a few years ago, I didn’t go to work with it immediately, as I only wanted to do something with it when I felt I had something to do it justice. So I hope I’ve done a good job now."
After that, you’re dropping new heat on your own imprint ‘Trek U Plan’, with 2 banging originals and a proper remix. What’s the direction you want to go with this record label? And where did you get the name from?
"Yes, the the first release – one track of mine called Balloon and one I made with Stealdrum, called Jeugd, accompanied by a Schmutz remix – already came out on vinyl in December, and in March the digital will be available. I’d like to keep the direction of the label uncomplicated, that’s all."
Speaking of names, why ‘Beton’?
"It does a good job at defining the music I make: uncomplicated, raw and steady."
With wide ranging support from Tiga, Carl Cox, Catz 'n Dogz, Soulwax, Pete Tong, Eats Everything, François K, Marco Carola and Davide Squillace you seem to have turned some important heads already. As a beginning producer, how does that feel?
"It feels great to have guys like this enjoying your music. It does remind me not to think of the result too often. if you truly like something, maybe others will think so too, so there is no use in overthinking it."
Will we be able to see you in a club or on a festival anytime soon?
"Yes, when I am ready."