BELFEGORE'S SELF-TITLED debut album appeared of the end of last year. The music of the Dusseldorf based trio demanded adjectives like hard, aggressive, striking - but did I like it? Well, er... At best I found it a blueprint for future developments, a certain stab in some adventurously raucous direction. At worst it was a dire bombastic racket.

Belfegore's members' origins stretch from Montreal to Germany via the Bronx with musical backgrounds equally diverse. Guitarist/singer Meikel sprang from punk, drummer Charly T. Charles (yes!) from HM while bassist Raoul had indulged in what the WEA biog elegantly calls the 'sophisticated jazz style'.

At their heart is a desire to fuse these elements into something uncharted and unclassifiable. Their lp is a first step. Their sole British gig was simply a severe pounding.

Meikel: 'We make a lot of noise and we want all the people to know that here is a group Belfegore. We are not the kind of group who stand around and wait for people to come. A second less simple thing is that we want to communicate with people. There has to be more than just music, more than just a group standing on the stage. There has to be a real communication so that people get something to know and feel. We finished part of our musical history with that first record. We have had quite a hectic time an now we are taking things home to think about. Without wanting to boast,we are going to do some big things."

The spirited musical uprisings of the early 80s in Germany have fizzled out. Rather than a general flurry of activity, there are a few groups striding out into often less esoteric avenues. Belfegore are perhaps one such group. My genuine German source tells me they used to be much more experimental.

Meikel: 'The results of our studio experiments are on the lp. There's a lot of expression, a lot of feeling, a lot of class there. The album we like but we're not really satisfied. Where we are from affects the music very much but it is not the city we live in or the cities we play in as much as the audiences we play for. I think that is the best influence for your music."

Meikel: 'Music should be fun. If you make good music, everybody can relate to it. You don't have to explain it or be part of a certain trend or clique. I think the music scene in England is regressive and conservative with a lot of frustrated powers. In New York every little thing that is good is given a chance to grow and get better. English groups could be better with more tolerance and support.'

Their lp drew a lot of critical acclaim but, impressively, the group themselves most appreciated one of the few scathing appraisals.

When they return hopefully the think will have taken and I think we'll see a better Belfegore.



mick sinclair

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