A tireless force on the country’s underground electronic scene, Bart is Belgium to the core. He heads a Belgian Beats playlist on 22tracks with On-Point’s Alex Deforce, showcases obscure beat producers at Bonnefoi through his Bedroom Beat nights (again, with Alex Deforce) and also hosts a radio show on FM Brussel with his DJ collective Onda Sonora . And that’s on weeknights. On weekends, he can sometimes be found behind the counter at Veals & Geaks, helping the shop price recent arrivals. And all this made him a perfect person to ask about iconic Belgian releases.
Plastic Bertrand – Tout Petit La Planete (CBS – 1978)
I love synth-driven disco with a nod to all things space and while this is usually where our French neighbors excel this particular track is a firm favourite and Belgian. With Dan Lacksman of Telex fame on keys.
Wet – That’s The Game (Dynamic Mix) (STD Records – 1983)
Famously sampled (and ridiculously expensive because of that) by Moodyman for his ‘Bosconi’ track this is proto-house / italo-house at its best.
Rhyme Cut Core – At The Crossroads (691 Influential – 1993)
Unlike many of my friends I never had much with French-spoken hiphop so this is for me still my main reference when it comes to Belgian hiphop. It’s also the first time I really connected with music made by fellow countrymen. The days when I took it all in, silently, hidden in a corner of the concert venue. Way before I even thought about getting involved.
Kristina – Lobotomix – Dandy De Metropol (Espera – 1989)
An electropop track well-hidden on a new beat compilation with little to no traces online. An odd-one out on so many levels it fits my taste in music perfectly. One I almost didn’t include in this list to keep it to myself.
Arbeid Adelt – De Man Die Alles Noteert (Parlophone – 1983)
This reminds me of Brussels when I was a kid. Riding through Brussels in the back of my parents car through Uccle and Ixelles on our way to wherever we were going. The mood this tracks oozes always triggers memories of that.
Telex – Victime De La Société (Vogue – 1979)
Not the most obvious track by them but because of that (and because it’s killer) certified Onda Sonora material. This one connects the dots.
Salted Slugs – Nightwash (Surf Kill – 2011)
Still my favourite Belgian beat release. Love absolutely everything about this release. The out there, way ahead of its time music, the lofi Surf Kill packaging, the video (you’re part of the incrowd if you know who’s dancing). This is the kind of record that will become a holy grail for diggers worldwide in 10 years time.
Krewcial – U.R.U. (BBE – 2004)
Heard this on Gilles Peterson’s radio show and became an instant fan of this track. Got a vinyl copy from GUS a few weeks later when he came to play at an Onda Sonora party. The first ever vinyl promo I got. Rarely felt prouder. Still makes me immensely happy when people give me a vinyl copy of their releases.
Zsa Zsa Laboum – Something Scary (KAOS – 1989)
One of the finer new beat tracks around. Played the bootleg for a while but eventually found the original on a digging trip, generating a feeling equaled by few others. This can easily stand next to the internationally more accepted classics from that era.
San Soda – Quilombo (We Play House – 2008)
First ever San Soda / We Play House release. Still the one I dig the most. It marks a time when a lot of friends started labels / releasing tracks. The beginning also of an interesting period in Belgian electronic music that continues until today.