Factory Benelux was the result of an informal arrangement made in April 1980 between Factory Records and Les Disques du Crépuscule in Brussels, whereby the latter would release 'spare' recordings by Factory artists, and provide the Manchester label with an entrée into Continental Europe. The founders both of 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 undertaken at least one similar overseas project with the limited edition release of the Joy Division single Atmosphere through French art label Sordide Sentimental, and also set up a North American branch, Factory US Inc.
The first Factory Benelux releases in 1980 were singles by A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column and Section 25. For the next three years most FBN releases were also exclusives, 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 (as Be Music), including Life, Nyam Nyam, Surprize and Lavolta Lakota. However this prolific period also included two complete albums by The Durutti Column: Short Stories for Pauline, and Circuses and Bread.
The label stopped releasing new material in 1988, although Crépuscule retained the Factory Benelux name for early CD reissues by The Names, New Order and Crispy Ambulance. In 2012 the Factory Benelux imprint was revived with the blessing of Duval and Honoré, now curated by James Nice, who worked in Brussels at Crepusculé in the late 1980s. This new iteration has so far issued CDs and vinyl albums by The Durutti Column, Section 25, Blurt, The Names, Crispy Ambulance, Quando Quango and The Wake, along with new albums by Section 25, Mark Reeder and The Wake. Forthcoming attractions include new projects by Section 25 and Minny Pops.
FBN 5 Blurt - Live in Berlin 10"
FBN 9 / FBN 9 CD The Names - Swimming
FBN 10 CD The Durutti Column - LC
FBN 12 CD Crispy Ambulance - The Plateau Phase
FBN 29 CD The Wake - Harmony
FBN 36 The Durutti Column - Short Stories for Pauline
7FBN 62 Section 25 - My Outrage (7")
FBN 64 The Wake - A Light Far Out (LP)
FBN 145 CD Section 25 - Dark Light
FBN 57 Factory Benelux T-shirt
For more FBN information visit factorybenelux.com.