How Belgium slowed the groove and created popcorn

Lander Lenaerts has made a film about the birth of a musical movement and it’s a beautiful thing. The music is called popcorn and it’s a Belgian original – soul, funk, ska, rhythm ‘n’ blues and latin tracks slowed down to create a softer sound, characterised by its afterbeat.

In his documentary, Lander – who it’s safe to say is something of a jazzhead who DJs on Laidback – tracks down the two men who started it all at the tail end of the 1960s and takes them back to the club where it all began. It’s now closed. Inside, the two men reminisce about the old days. Think Buena Vista Social Club, but with DJs, now in their 60s. And in Belgium.

I met Lander here and told me their stories came thick and fast. ‘I had to ask them two questions in the entire interview,’ he said. ‘It just came flooding out of them.’

They explain that only around two per cent of the records were played at the normal speed, how people would dance on the bar and outside because the club was so packed and how the movement spread across the nation, then the world and is now established as a genre in its own right.

They talk about the artists they played, where they bought the records, the dance moves they spawned and how proud they are to have been there at the beginning of it all.

It’s a great little documentary with, of course, some great music. You can watch it below.

Belgian Popcorn from Laid Back on Vimeo.

How Belgium slowed the groove and created popcorn

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