Verboden Dromen


Released: 16th August 2019

An all-time Twitch favourite and our Optimo Album of the Month for August.

Before becoming Belgian new beat and techno titans, Praga Khan and Chris Inger were collaborators in a new wave influenced band called Shakti. "Verboden Dromen" gathers together the best of the outfit's work recorded between 1987 and 1990, offering up tracks that join the dots between intoxicating synth-pop, moody new wave, hypnotic grooves and dark and sleazy dancefloor moments. All of the tracks have stood the test of time remarkably well, with highlights including the humid and exotic chug of "Kamasutra", the hallucination-inducing tropical fever of "Demonic Forces" and "Shanah", and the bustling, club-ready bounce of "The Awakening", which sounds like the Thompson Twins after one too many tabs of acid.'

Shakti were behind some of New Beat’s sexiest, grown-up classics that contrasted with the genre’s sweet-toothed “nougat beat” strains. Abiding a formula of sultry female vocals with slow and slick rutting rhythms, noirish synth pads and “exotic” references, the eight trax essentially trace the roots of what would become Euro-dance, spying the style in a formative flux between slower, sozzled Belgian sexiness and a loose mix of Arabic and Indian influences which accounted for one avenue of New Beat, alongside it’s dafter obsessions with Batman and cocaine, to name a few.