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Introduction to a band. Or a concept? In late 1980 four youngsters living in Hasselt (Flanders, Belgium) – still students or unemployed – sought for a way to escape boredom, a way to unleash their creativity and frustrations. New, progressive music at that very moment, was their mental relief. Punk, post-punk, cold wave, post-wave,… any kind would do, as long as they liked it. So why not start ... Lees meer » Introduction to a band. Or a concept?
In late 1980 four youngsters living in Hasselt (Flanders, Belgium) – still students or unemployed – sought for a way to escape boredom, a way to unleash their creativity and frustrations. New, progressive music at that very moment, was their mental relief. Punk, post-punk, cold wave, post-wave,… any kind would do, as long as they liked it. So why not start a band?
Nor Rudi, Marc, Valentin or Ivo could play an instrument. However, that shouldn’t be an obstacle since their fundamental belief was that ‘anyone can play music’... They went to the local musicshop and bought the cheapest stuff. Drums, guitar, bass, microphone and amps. Basic and simple.
From January 1981 on they started rehearsing in the small washing shed of Rudi’s mom. Freezing in winter, agonizing hot during the summer. During the band’s lifetime, finding a place to rehearse has always been a problem. Basements, attics,... any place would do just fine!

First makings
Since they were unskilled musicians there was no other option than keep it simple. There were a lot of bands who had already given great examples: Joy Division, Wire, Bauhaus, PIL,… Soon O Veux started making recordings with a two track recorder that Rudi owned. Surprisingly, under poor conditions they created a sound in the washing shed that almost shattered Martin Hannett’s “fucking overproduced” (dixit Jello Biafra) trademark sound.

No stand still
Hasselt, capitol of the province Limburg, was in the late seventies, early eighties, a breeding centre for alternative music. Lots of different styles and influences met each other. O Veux was in close relation to bands as AA, Kebab and Siglo XX. However the band’s character was rather peculiar. O Veux never was afraid of turning in to musical directions, shunned by their ‘fellowbands’. As a consequence there was almost an unsatisfied hunger for doing new things; exploring all what could be explored within the reach of the band’s possibilities.
And thus it’s no surprise that the line up of the band changed a few times throughout the years.
In spring 1982 appeared ‘Akinai’, a 7 inch ep on Sexy Robot Records, recorded at Grunt’s, a ‘lower than low’ budget studio. The sleeve was a photocopy, plied and glued by the band. The cold freezing sound from early 1981 had disappeared. 1982 saw O Veux playing more aggressive numbers. On stage this often resulted in destructive scenes. They didn’t play cold wave, they just played their wave.

Looking for rhythm
New York artists like Liquid Liquid, Bush Tetras and James Chance (White) started to influence O Veux more and more. Just like British eccentrics Popgroup and Rip, Rig and Panic. The periode 1983-1984 meant pounding basses (often slapping), feverish beats and uncompromising guitars mixed up with raw, screaming vocals. In September 1983 synthesizers were introduced to the band. And they were five…
O Veux often refused to be entitled as a ‘band’. They preferred to be seen as a project in which music was an important element of expression but not an exclusive one.

Afterlife
By 1985 the public wouldn’t dig anymore low quality recordings. In Belgium alternative had become mainstream new wave managed and directed by record companies such as EMI. O Veux faced difficulties to release new material.
Lucky for them, the band was picked up by a small independent label called Stoker Records. This time they would prove again their ‘chameleon tactics’. They choose for music that attracted a broader audience but still based on strong rhythms, pumping bass and dynamic riffs and melodies. It looked as if the lion went pussy, but O Veux never pointed it’s finger at society as directly as at that moment. ‘La La Bolivia’ never was meant funny!
‘Heat of the Flesh’ (1985) and ‘Gunman’s Beat’ (1986) may be criticized by those who love the band’s earlier works. Nevertheless, both records are the testimony of the believe that anyone can make music.

Discography

1982 - ‘Akinai’ – 7” ep, Sexy Robot Records
1. A Face A Mask 2. Monotone Set 3. Strange 4. Seconds

1982 - ‘Allez Crachez’ – compilation tape, Punk Etc.
1. The Game 2. Orchards & Meadows

1985 - ‘Just A Slit’ – 45’’, VSP Records
1. Beneath Shallow Graves 2. Beat the Drums slowly 3. Mardeka

1985 - ‘Heat of the Flesh’ – 45”, Stoker Records
1. Heat of the Flesh 2. Home Again 3. Telltale Signs 4. Bribe and Other Vices

1986 - ‘Gunman’s Beat’ – 45”, Stoker Records
1. La La Bolivia 2. Oscillations 3. Oscillations (remix)

1986 - ‘Gunman’s Beat’ + ‘Just A Slit’ – double package 2 x 45’’, Stoker Records

2016 - 'O' (black & white album) - 2 double compilation albums containing all tracks previously released on records and unedited material - Softspot Music and Onderstroom Records Bron:

In late 1980, four unemployed guys from Hasselt (Belgium) got deep into raw, progressive music as a way of staying creative and escaping the boredom of their daily lives. It was their mental relief. Punk, post-punk, cold wave, post-wave…it didn’t matter. It was all great. Why not participate by forming a band? Although none of them could actually play an instrument, it didn't really matter, because they stuck hard to the fundamental belief that anyone can play music… read more


O Veux Just A Slit

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