Delve into the crates and tastes of one of the country’s foremost connaisseurs of Belgian music, both old and new. Part of the pick of iconic Belgian cuts Bart Sibiel (of Onda Sonora and 22tracks fame) took us through a few weeks ago for our live listening sessions Favourite Belgian Releases at The Hope, the next edition of which will take place next week with Front De Cadeaux’s Dj Athome.
1.San Soda – Quilombo (We Play House, 2008)
From the first release on We Play House Recordings and San Soda’s first ever 12”. This came out in 2008 when we had been involved for many years in organizing parties at JH Eenders in Halle where label boss Red D was almost a resident DJ so it felt a little bit like a family thing. It was also around that time we started doing events called RELEASE at Beursschouwburg to promote young Belgian producers. Nicolas played at the very first one and his early output was certainly one of the reasons to be cocky enough to think we could pull off a night with nothing but local talent that had never performed live or had hardly released anything. This particular track is still my favourite WPH and San Soda tune (but do continue reading to avoid the idea of them going downhill afterwards, haha).
2. Rhyme Cut Core – Raw Break (691 Influential, 1993)
TLP and Grazzhoppa. The only 90s track in this list and probably the first time I became aware that Belgium had music to offer that was current and relevant on an international level. From way back before I was involved in any way in the music scene and I still was that silent kid in the back corner observing and enjoying.
3. Paul Severs – Dansen In De Discotheek (Gnome, 1981)
Probably the biggest artist to ever come out of Halle, the city where Onda Sonora started its career. Sort of guilty pleasure although I must admit I’ve got a small collection of records of his. My link to our roots in a way.
4. Salted Slugs – Nightwash (Surf Kill, 2011)
One of my all-time favourites. Released on Dynooo, Cupp Cave and Nosedrip’s so amateurish that it became borderline genius marketing label. Raw and ramshackle but in the meantime funky and infectious. Absolute classic.
5. The Kenny Clarke – Francy Boland Big Band (Un Graso De Areia, MPS, 1968)
The Herbert remix of this has been in my DJ-bag for years but only recently noticed the original was both great and partly Belgian. Francy Bolland was a bandleader / arranger from Namur who released more than a few superb cuts like this one.
6. Stikstof – Ja Dan (Frontal, 2016)
Local boys and friends who I’ve seen evolve in the tight group they are now delivering Dutch-spoken hiphop which is up there with the best. Their DJ, Vega, played at Onda Sonora’s hiphop nights in Halle almost 10 years ago. Check Zwangere Guy’s fresh new track which is a next step on their promising path.
7. HNO3 – Doughnut Dollies (R&S, 1988)
New Beat tracks by Eric ‘Powa’ B. I’ve got a love / hate relation with this genre. I like the early house and the late new wave ones, this one fitting the first category. Quite expensive one to acquire on vinyl but well worth the money.
8. Arome Di Amore – Doe De Mafia (Lark, 1982)
From the “Rock Rally ‘82” compilation which explains the liveness of this track. Pure punk energy but with firm wave influences. One to start a little pogo on the dance floor. Which happens far too little when we’re playing.
9. Kristina-Lobotomix – Dandy De Metropole (Espera, 1989)
From a rather obscure new beat compilation but hardly fitting the genre. A melancholic, dark poppy tune. Curious who’s behind this as the liner notes aren’t very helpful.
10. Arbeid Adelt! – Meisje Van Mijn Hart (Parlophone, 1983)
Love the 12” version of this (video is album version) as it has a bit more oomph. From their sublime “Jonge Helden” album from which I could put nearly every track in this list. The track I play when I need to get pumped up for something. Love doing the most crazy dances to this. As my neighbors can probably testify.
11. Wim De Craene – Rikky (Arista, 1984)
Would love to make an edit of this but the original hasn’t got enough instrumental parts to make a 10 minute dub version. So if someone could hook me up … . Haha. Flemish chanson but with a killer synth sound. Although I wouldn’t discard the vocals entirely in my edit as they are catchy as hell.
12. Jus Raw – 313 (We Play House Bootleg, 2016)
Proof that I still follow We Play House Recordings. Track from an artist I selected a few times for the Belgian 22tracks beats list. Always nice to see others, with a label, appreciate the music too and put it out on vinyl. Jus Raw aka Khuram will be joining us at Bar Eliza in Koekelberg on Sunday august 21st in the afternoon for a rollerdisco session on the heavy 54 sound system.
13. The Names – Calcutta (Factory, 1982)
Martin Hannett produced tracks on Factory from back in the days when Brussels was one of the post-punk capitals of the world with Plan K, Disques du Crépuscule and more. In my more romantic moments I see similarities between the creative energy from those days and the current alternative electronic scene.
14. Open Sky Unit – Open Sky (Duchesne, 1974)
Because it doesn’t always need to be Placebo / Marc Moulin, Belgium has produced some other deep funky, jazz. Like this gem by Jacques Pelzer and co.
15. Le Motel – Lullaby (Cosmic Compositions, 2014)
Another artist that was a regular in our 22tracks Beats list and starts to get the recognition he deserves. Simple, humble guy who makes great music that’ll last in contrary to much of the hyped up bagger everyone raves about but will be forgotten in a few months’ time. In that way his music fits this list perfectly because you won’t find many instant nor big hits in it but all tunes still sound great.ondasonora.be