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Factory Benelux \ History

Factory Benelux was the result of an informal arrangement made in April 1980 between Factory Records and Les Disques du Crépuscule in Brussels, by which the latter would release 'spare' recordings made by Factory artists, and provide the Manchester label with an entrée into Continental Europe. The founders of both Benelux and Crépuscule were journalists Michel Duval and Annik Honoré, who had already promoted early performances by several Factory artists (Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Section 25) at the famous Plan K venue. Factory had already undertaken a similar overseas project with the limited edition release of the Joy Division single Atmosphere through French art label Sordide Sentimental, and would also set up a North American branch, Factory US.

The first Factory Benelux releases were exclusive singles by A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column and Section 25. For the next three years most FBN releases were also unique, including singles and albums by New Order, Crispy Ambulance, The Names, Minny Pops, Cabaret Voltaire, Crawling Chaos, Stockholm Monsters and The Wake. Financial constraints at Factory also meant that Benelux was first to issue pioneering dance singles by Quando Quango and 52nd Street. Between 1983 and 1986 many FBN titles took the form of European editions of regular Factory releases, along with extracurricular production work by members of New Order (working as Be Music), including Life, Nyam Nyam, Surprize and Lavolta Lakota. This prolific period also included two complete albums by The Durutti Column: Short Stories for Pauline, and Circuses and Bread.

Factory Benelux stopped releasing new material in 1988, although Crépuscule retained the FBN imprint for early CD reissues by The Names, New Order and Crispy Ambulance. In 2012 the label was revived with the blessing of Duval and Honoré, and is now curated by James Nice, who worked in Brussels at Crépuscule in the late 1980s. This new iteration has issued CDs and vinyl albums by The Durutti Column, A Certain Ratio, Section 25, Martin Hannett, The Names, Crispy Ambulance, Quando Quango, Mark Reeder, The Wake and Blurt.

Factory Benelux

Annik Honoré meets David Byrne

Factory Benelux