C J Bolland is another early techno pioneer, who I always associated with Belgium’s R & S label but is actually British.

Although invariably associated with Belgium, CJ Bolland was, in fact, born in the UK – Yorkshire to be precise – in 1971. And it was England that provided his first musical influence. “It was when I was 2 and I fell in love with the Dr Who theme tune. I just loved the fat electronic sounds,” says CJ. But the Bolland family moved to Antwerp, Belgium when CJ was 3, and it was the Belgian new wave and ‘body music’ scenes that had the greatest impact on CJ’s career. “In the ’80s the Belgian underground scene revolved round new wave, electro and body music (Front 242, Neon Judgement, The Klinik), and I followed it religiously.”

This love of electronic music was to strongly colour CJ’s production career, which began in the mid-’80s. His early efforts were aired on Belgium’s Liasons Dangereuses radio show: “I was featured every week with my home demo tracks. We had chats on air with the public on the progress of the music. It was great; direct feedback and my music going out to thousands when I was a spotty kid.”

It was, however, when someone sent a tape to Ghent-based techno imprint R&S that things really started to happen for CJ. “Someone sent R&S a tape recorded from a radio show I did. They liked it and invited me to check out the R&S lab. The first day I was there I spent 32 hours in the studio jamming with the big don himself, Renaat. The fact that I was not gonna leave without him kicking me out impressed him somewhat and he signed me up. The best day of my life! The next five years where the most pleasurable and productive ones of my career.”

The first release on R&S was ‘Do That Dance’ in 1989 and the subsequent five years were certainly productive with CJ recording a string of singles as The Project, Pulse, Sonic Solution, Ravesignal, Space Opera, Schism and of course CJ Bolland. It was during this period that CJ recorded the best-known records of his career, the turbo charged rave anthem ‘Horsepower’ on ’91’s ‘Ravesignal III’ EP and ’92’s ‘Fourth Sign’ LP which included the hypnotic ‘Camargue’ and the galloping ‘Night Breed’. CJ was also DJing regularly in the UK alongside some of the biggest names on the techno scene: “At the time I was so busy banging out tracks that I didn’t look back. I knew by playing them out that they were liked and enjoyed on the dancefloor; naturally that feels pretty good and makes you want to work even harder. I was playing the UK approximately three times a week and was very influenced by the UK’s finest – Dave Angel, Cisco Fereirra, Luke Slater.”

C J Bolland – Austral Body
C J Bolland – Starship Universe
C J Bolland – Random


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~ by acidted on September 4, 2008.

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