Brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll produced Belfast in 1990. It’s a timeless piece of rave-era electronica, centred around an elegant operatic aria, performed by Emily Van Evera, very similar, if not the same, as the one used in The Beloved’s The Sun Rising. Both songs carry an identical feeling of pilled-up hope and optimism. Now inducing industrial strength nostalgia.
Belfast probably also inspired Opus 3’s It’s A Fine Day, and is the sort of thing homaged, reprised, by Bicep on tracks such as the brilliant Glue.
David Holmes` remix of the track first appeared as part the anniversary boxset, Thirty-Something. However, you can currently pick it up on a 45 in bundle with Issue 97 of print magazine Electronic Sound, putting it, perhaps, more within everyone’s budgetary reach.
While David’s mix loses the famous vocal, it retains the original’s evolving, enchanting, emotional pull. Handclaps countering a steady, solid 4 / 4, as subtle subliminal sequences seem to spin both backwards and forwards, amid arcs of ethereal noise. The detail dancing, twinkling like sonic starlight on a cut of kool modern kosmische, akin to The Vendetta Suite’s Christmas In Cologne. With a nod toward Klaus Dinger, and La Dusseldorf, classics such as Silver Cloud and Rheinita, and maintaining momentum with dramatic drum rolls, Holmes turns the paean to his hometown into a 12-minute-plus cosmic rock epic, now split across both sides of the exclusive 7.