Peter Renkens, original frontman of the New Beat cult act The Confetti’s, has passed away
Sad news, as the news reached us that Peter Renkens, frontman of The Confetti’s, has passed away. He was just 55 years old, the news was confirmed by his former producer Serge Ramaekers.
The Belgian New Beat group The Confetti’s had a massive hit in the late eighties with the song “The Sound of C”, with the band performing on stage with Renkens as singer and frontman accompanied by 4 dancers. Renkens was inspired for the group’s name by the discotheque “Confetti’s” where he worked as a waiter at the time. The song “The Sound of C” was originally created as a publicity stunt for this Antwerp discotheque. But the song became a real hit in the early 1990s.
Their crazy approach, and the long singer’s red Canadian costume, did their work. The brain behind the Confetti’s, the producers, were Serge Ramaekers and Dominic Sas.
The band existed from 1988 until its disbandment in 1992. During that period, The Confetti’s achieved international success with songs like “The Sound of C,” “C’ day,” “C in China,” and “Put ‘m Up”. After the split of the group, Peter Renkens became Mister X (actor/dancer) for a while in a discotheque in Wuustwezel and spent some time in psychiatry.
With the resurgence of 80s and 90s music, the project was revived in 2009. As of 2019, the group had a new show concept, The Confettis 2.0.
What was New Beat?
New Beat was a Belgian electronic dance music genre that fuses elements of new wave, hi-NRG, EBM and hip hop (e.g. scratching). It flourished in Western Europe during the late-1980s and early nineties. New beat spawned a subgenre called “hard beat” (a blend of EBM, new beat and acid house) and became a key influence on the evolution of European electronic dance music styles such as hardcore techno and gabber.
The genre was “accidentally invented” in the nightclub Ancienne Belgique (AB) in Antwerp when DJ Dikke Ronny (literally “Fat Ronny”) played the 45 rpm EBM record “Flesh” by A Split-Second at 33 rpm, with the pitch control set to +8. In addition to A Split-Second, new beat was also heavily influenced by other EBM acts such as Front 242, Signal Aout 42 and The Neon Judgement, as well as new wave acts such as Fad Gadget, Gary Numan, New Order, Nitzer Ebb, Boytronic and Anne Clark.
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