Peter Van Hoesen – Opal Balance

The first release on a new label inspired by old-school Belgian dance music.

Peter Van Hoesen – Opal Balance

Thanks to the increased interest in sounds like hardcore techno, gabber and EBM, classic Belgian dance music is more relevant than ever. Peter Van Hoesen’s bass-heavy style of techno has always been driven by influences from new beat, EBM and the rave music of his home country, but his new label, Center 91, puts them on a pedestal. Opal Balance finds Van Hoesen in a mode that values brute force over subtlety.

The rolling bassline of “Gadarene” is vintage Van Hoesen, but the volatile leads suggest a ruder sound has been unleashed. That comes out even more boldly on “Kres,” where the bassline sounds like a series of belches. The title track is the EP’s most explosive. A descending melody ripples like a stone skipping across a pond as other sounds seem to detonate underneath. It sounds like Van Hoesen is trying to knock his own track off-centre, but it steamrolls ahead. Back in 2013, Van Hoesen tried to capture the anything-goes feel of a hardware live set with Life Performance. Opal Balance does it better, showing Van Hoesen’s sound in an aggressive, unpredictable new light.

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