Joey Beltram

Joey Beltram

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Joey Beltram
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Born: 6 November 1971 in Queens, NYC, USA.

Joey Beltram is widely acknowledged as a leading innovator in the early development of underground dance music.

Joey began DJing as a hobby back in 1983 at the age of 12 playing mostly early electro and hip-hop. He made the switch to house music in 1985 when the first wave of Chicago house hit NYC that same year.

In 1989 he started releasing some of his early productions on several small New York record labels whilst he was working as a courier. A year later he caught the eye of R & S Records in Belgium and by mid 1990 released his first major record with that company titled "Energy Flash". Beltram soon followed with some equally impressive releases.
All through the 90's he has created some of the most timeless music on some of the most cutting edge labels of the decade.

In 1999 he formed STX Records, which he currently records for under both JB³ and Joey Beltram.
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Joey Beltram Discography

Albums

TX 5022 Beltram* Dance Generator Trax Records TX 5022 US 1993 Sell This Version
BAR 6206-12 Joey Beltram Aonox (Album) Visible Records BAR 6206-12 Belgium 1994 Sell This Version
TRE 06 Joey Beltram Places (Album, EP) Tresor, Logic Records, Logic Records, Logic Records, Logic Records TRE 06 Germany 1995 Sell This Version
Tresor 214 Joey Beltram The Rising Sun (Album) Tresor Tresor 214 Germany 2004 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

RS 926 Joey Beltram Beltram Vol. 1 R & S Records RS 926 Belgium 1990 Sell This Version
MS-16 Beltram* Energy Flash Transmat MS-16 US 1990 Sell This Version
LE-01 Joey Beltram & Twice As Good Productions* Joey Beltram & Twice As Good Productions* - Untitled(12", S/Sided, Ltd) X Records (US) LE-01 US 1990 Sell This Version
RS 9104 Joey Beltram Beltram Volume 2 R & S Records RS 9104 Belgium 1991 Sell This Version
RSUK 3CD Beltram* Energy Flash E.P. (EP, Single) R & S Records RSUK 3CD UK 1991 Sell This Version
PLUS8010 Final Exposure Featuring Joey Beltram, Mundo Musique* & Richie Hawtin Final Exposure Featuring Joey Beltram, Mundo Musique* & Richie Hawtin - Vortex(12") Plus 8 Records PLUS8010 Canada 1991 Sell This Version
WHITE 001 Joey Beltram Machines / Fuck All You Mother Fuckers(12") R & S Records WHITE 001 Belgium 1991 Sell This Version
WHITE 006 Joey Beltram Demo EP Part One(12", EP) R & S Records WHITE 006 Belgium 1992 Sell This Version
SO20082 Beltram* Phuture Trax (Single) Sorted Records SO20082 US 1993 Sell This Version
RAD 95, HAL 12374 Beltram* Presents T*Z*O Featuring B.L. (4) And Breez Beltram* Presents T*Z*O Featuring B.L. (4) And Breez - Rush To The Rhythm(12") Radikal Records, Hot Productions RAD 95, HAL 12374 US 1993 Sell This Version
WAP 49 Joey Beltram The Caliber EP (EP) Warp Records WAP 49 UK 1994 Sell This Version
VIS-116 Beltram* Presents Odyssey Nine Beltram* Presents Odyssey Nine - Forklift / Drama 20 Visible Records VIS-116 US 1994 Sell This Version
vis 102 Beltram* Presents... Odyssey Nine Beltram* Presents... Odyssey Nine - Drums Of Orbit Visible Records vis 102 US 1994 Sell This Version
XSEP3 Joey Beltram Fuzz Tracks X-Sight Records XSEP3 US 1994 Sell This Version
PM-6206 Joey Beltram / Glenn "Sweety G" Toby Joey Beltram / Glenn "Sweety G" Toby - Lost Entity EP (EP) Permanent Records (11) PM-6206 US 1994 Sell This Version
TX 5027 Joey Beltram The Beltram Re-Releases 1989-1991 (Comp) Trax Records TX 5027 US 1994 Sell This Version
Tresor 33, 74321 299141 Joey Beltram Game Form (Single) Tresor, Logic Records Tresor 33, 74321 299141 Germany 1995 Sell This Version
Tresor 50 Joey Beltram Metro Tresor Tresor 50 Germany 1996 Sell This Version
Tresor 40, 74321 33687 2 Joey Beltram Instant (Maxi) Tresor Tresor 40, 74321 33687 2 Germany 1996 Sell This Version
TRXUK 003 Joey Beltram The Start It Up (Claude Young Remixes) (Comp) Trax Records TRXUK 003 UK 1997 Sell This Version
Tresor 90 Joey Beltram Ball Park Tresor Tresor 90 Germany 1998 Sell This Version

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maroko

maroko

January 26, 2011
edited over 5 years ago
Joey Beltram's own words about his first steps, and taking first steps in his DJing/producing career:
"Now, the first electronic music that I heard was probably like Afrika Baambaata, early Arthur-Baker productions, and then I was like totally hooked from there.
I would always pick up these weird keyboards in second hand shops, or you know, garage sales or whatever, and just see what they can do you know, just start making weird sounds. And sometimes when I couldn't get a good sound out of a machine, I had a cool sampler, an FZ-1 I use to use, which had little filters in it. And, uhm, I would sample the sounds, so although most of them I would wind up doing on my FZ-10, my Casio FZ-10. I would sample the sounds from other keyboards I had, but then when I put them in the Casio which is cheap, and made it you know, er uhm er stranger somehow."
"Luckily for me around 1985 I started listening to Tony Humphries' radio show, and he started playing all the first wave of house music that came from Chicago. I think he was the only person really playing it. At least on the radio anyway, in New York at that time. And I was a big fan of Tony Humphries show, I still am. That show really influenced me. Every Friday, Saturday night, I would be home listening, you know to the radio, to him go on until four in the morning, and he would just play all this, the first house records. You know, he would just play it all night all long. He would mix it with disco, I guess in the beginning, there wasn't enough house records produced to make, you know, a five hour mix show, so he'd mix it with, like old disco records, and some electro, but it was mainly house and it just built this new vibe, and I was hooked – right after that."
"Around 1987 when I started hearing Tod Terry do his, like basically remixes, you know these sample productions, you know, a new record produced from samples of other records that were already popular, and nobody had ever done anything like that before. It blew my mind, you know. It was like, you know, it said to me as a kid that a DJ has a purpose making records. I didn't know that Arthur Baker and these guys were DJs, so I had roots in DJs, I thought they were musicians, you know, but Tod Terry was the first person that I knew that I saw that was a DJ, making records, you know, producing, and that gave me the idea, because I was already a DJ for a few years, you know. I was about 17, and I said „hey“, you know, this is something I wanna do. I wanna try this, you know, and I was a big fan of Tod's, you know, so I learned a lot by listening to his records, I'd listen to his records and I would learn to have, like, structured stuff."
"A lot of my early records that I put out were kind of strange I guess, they were like house music, but they weren't the house music that was popular in New York at the time. You know, they had a little twist. I didn't really know about techno in those days. I really didn't know there was a... I never even heard the word techno before. I knew house music, and uhm, my house music was stranger than what was already popular in New York. And so it didn't really get a lot of response in New York, and that's all I saw, and then I was talking to Frank Mendez who owned the label, and he said: "yeah, but you're selling pretty good amounts of your records.", and I said I don't see anybody playing them in New York, and he said: „Well, I'm selling them all in Europe, people are buying them in Europe, they're going nuts to that stuff over there, in places like Belgium and in the UK."

About the early days of record shopping, getting signed, his relationship with Belgium:
"In New York at the time a lot of things didn't become popular unless they were on imports. If you had a record on a label that was from New York or somewhere in the States, you know, people would, you know, kind of pass over it a little bit, but if it came out on an import, if it came out from Europe somewhere, and came back, then they were all suddenly interested, you know. And a lot of people in New York, some labels, I had labels turn me down, I had actually shopped Energy Flash to several New York labels that were just like "Don't like it!",This is not music!", "Put a vocal on it and maybe we'll put it out!", you know, and then right after that, when Energy Flash became a big record, the same labels were calling me up. "Got some stuff for us? Got some stuff for us? We'll take anything!"
"For me, I would have to say R&S was probably a very influential label. When I first came over and started doing work with R&S, they had a nice stable of producers already working there, Cisco Ferreira who know records as The Advent, CJ Bolland, uhm, a lot of good producers. It was probably one of the most influential labels at the time, and they had a very unique sound, they just... it was like kinda, in a lot of different places; they did some house stuff, some techno, some really progressive techno stuff that was on the cutting edge I think."

About the scene degrading throughout the nineties, its fragmentation and the large scale parties and festivals:
"Around '93 definitely, I noticed the quality of dance music really took a big nose dive, and there is more garbage coming out than there is good quality music. I mean there is a lot of, you know, diamonds in the rough that you'd hear out there, and some few gem sounds, but you know, now everybody, since like the early nineties everyone could press a record, everybody's got a label, everybody... And so that just cheapens a lot of the music because it's so... so much garbage, no quality control. You don't have a label, or people sitting there saying "You know, this isn't good. This needs to be worked on some more." Now, people just do the track, and then they just put it out, you know. They think it's good, because everybody who makes a record thinks, "well I, you know my music's great, you know!"
"Parties like Love Parade – I thought they were great 'cause, you know, they don't happen in New York like that. I come here from time to time and I hear people say "Aw it's too commercial! It's too this, it's too that!", but you know for that, for those things, it's just about fun, you know, you just go there you have fun. I don't take them seriously, I don't sit there and say "This is where it's all going!" or "This is, you know... the scene!", it's just, you know, it's a Saturday afternoon. These big festivals, they're great, you know. People go, and that's what it's about. These, you know, the paying public is paying their hard earned money to go out, and they wanna have a good time. Basically that's it. Just wanna go out with a bunch of their friends and have fun and, you know. As long as that's achieved, that's all that matters."
"The thing I hate about the sub-genres, you know like when I pick up a magazine and I look through the music section of reviews and stuff, and you'll see this like ten pages of different genres, and I've never even heard of half of the genres, uhm, as genres before. That throws me off 'cause then you're getting people who are into that scene, and rules all of a sudden apply, you know, if you wanna make this kind of music you can't, it has to be written in this tempo, and it has to have these kind of sounds, and it has to have a drum loop in it, and it has to... All these rules. And that limits creativity, you know?"

Present state of the scene and a glimpse of the future:
"Out of the hundred records I sit in the store for two hours listening to records, and I'll buy like five, you know. And even the five I bought maybe two I'll like and three I'll hate, you know, a month later. And that's what inspires me. Because then I sit down, when it's time for me to wear my producer hat, and sit down and work on some music, I say you know, what do I wanna hear as a DJ? What does the DJ want to buy as a customer?"
"The disco era died, but club music still went on, night life still went on, you know. Techno might be dead one day – completely. Where everyone looks at it like disco, as a dinosaur. But people are still gonna go out to clubs, they're still gonna party, big events are gonna happen, 'cause that's not gonna change. It's what they'll listen to, what people chose to spend their hard earned money on – that might change. And it's probably gonna, you know. I'm sure there will be a day when techno is finished, and considered old and done, you know. Maybe that day is already here, I don't know."
"All the good ideas have been done already. You know, but there's still more, there's plenty out there, you know, you gotta keep looking for it and just keep experimenting with sounds. There's tons of unexplored things out there."

Final remarks:
"On the stage, and I DJ, or anywhere, and there's people in front of me, I'm 16 again and I'm just, like, enjoying it. And I'm loving it. It doesn't even matter where I am, how fancy the lights are, how many people are there, I’m just I'm... I'm thrilled that I'm able to do this. And I remember clear as day when it was just a dream, you know, and ever day that I'm playing I just try and... just pinch myself, because it's the best experience, and I don't believe in bad experiences as a DJ."

Well, is there any better way to comprehend an artist you like than letting him say his version of the story… Regardless, who would have ever thought that Joey Beltram, an ex-room mate of the US rave legend/DJ/producer/promoter/record shop owner Frankie Bones would go on and cause the greatest revolution in techno music in less than twenty four months, with the seminal Energy Flash, and the even more important Mentasm, he recorded in collaboration with Mundo Muzique.
A youngster who recorded an unprecedented techno classic without even knowing it was techno beforehand. What more is there to say? His sounds and tracks united ravers and lovers of electronic music on a global scale in no time, threw them off balance, conquering their hearts and staying in DJs' record bags for longer than anybody could remember! His most renowned tunes are timeless testaments to the early, tongue-in-cheek days of the genre, from an era when every artist could bravely execute just about anything that’d cross their mind. In brief: Joey Beltram is for sure one of those pioneers whose status is justified, at least twice. There was a period throughout the years when I had a fallout with the new directions he took with his sound, but nonetheless, he remains one of the true undeniable talents of techno music. My five step journey into the genius mind of this producer would be something like this:
1) Second Phase – Mentasm
2) Joey Beltram – Energy Flash
3) Joey Beltram – My Sound
4) Joey Beltram – Caliber
5) Joey Beltram – Game Four

But stop there by no means, and don’t take this like a definite "how to Beltram" list. This is merely a nostalgic guide to five tracks which really got me hooked to this man’s sound many years ago, and I hope they work out the same way for you as well!
Alain_Patrick

Alain_Patrick

May 4, 2005
edited over 11 years ago
I got the chance to listen to his historical set at Kiss FM, London, in 1991. “Yo! What’s up? This is Joey Beltram, and I’ve been ticking up some mixing here while put up on the break listening to the MD Connection and Ray Buster on Boom Generation…” said Joey, opening the session. It seems that the boss Renaat Van de Papelière was there at the studios also. Beltram begun with his classic tune "My Sound", followed by 'Incubus - Spirit', two tracks whose sample was taken from 'Kicksquad - Sound Clash', a hardcore classic from Kickin label.

Just some minutes after came the break and Joey Beltram announced: "Yo, what's up? This is Joey Beltram, spinning the decks, hope you're gettin' in this hardcore techno stuff by the way...because we're bringing it to life... I got Renaat Van de Papa.. plieeere!" (said he smiling, confused with R&S Boss' name, while this one shouts "Yeeeaaahhh!" behind him) - from R&S Records...the president, right here, all the way from Belgium, he is here in the studio maybe we`ll be able to talk to he a little while...see what he’s got to say..."
He spoke about an event sponsored by Kiss FM at the sequence (Club C 91).

His repertory came back with the original version of ‘Human Resource – Dominator’ just at the period which he made the superb remix for it – a massive hardcore hit with that typical dark touch and, of course, the Hoover synthesizer timbres. After that, he played an amazing repertory which included CJ Bolland ’s “Horse Power”, and the deeply influential “Mentasm” (made by him and Mundo Muzique on their project called Second Phase). They say it was this production that brought that aggressive synthesizer timbre, largely used on the techno rave tracks of that period (such as “Dominator”).

Joey Beltram was absolutely innovative at that time, and all these radio sessions were just another evidence of it. He was the first white man to release on a Detroit Techno label, still in 1990: Transmat.
baj

baj

July 29, 2003
While raving on about the influence and quality of major Detroit and Chicago producers, one can all too easily forget Joey Beltram. But in my opinion, this guy is one of the very best techno producers ever- he consistently has put out better tracks than some guys ever do their entire careers. Instant, Drome, Ball Park, My Sound, Energy Flash, Game Form, The Start It Up, Back Porch, I could go on...

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