Cult group Front 242 celebrates its 40th anniversary
The Belgian electronic music pioneers who left their mark on the early 80s underground scene are performing all over the world as part of their anniversary tour.
In 1981, four young people from Aarschot (near Leuven) and Brussels started playing music, even though none of them were real musicians. The first synthesisers on the market and other beat boxes were enough to lay the foundations of this industrial music of which they were the precursors. Daniel Bressanutti, Patrick Codenys, Jean-Luc De Meyer and Dirk Bergen (and later Richard Jonckheere) invented the name "Electronic Body Music" to describe their new style of music.
With shaved heads, dark glasses and military uniforms, they were clearly aiming to be provocative by claiming their desire to denounce and transgress society, but without ever slipping towards extremist political options.
Eight albums would punctuate the history of this mythical group that British newspaper The Guardian described as "the most influential Belgian group since Jacques Brel" so revolutionary was this music, comprised almost exclusively of collages of sounds.
Front 242 often opened for Depeche Mode at their mega-concerts during the 80s and their original videos were shown constantly on the music channel MTV. The following decades were more subdued but the group continued to perform regularly on stage.