Consouling Sounds co-founder Mike Keirsbilck’s 11 favourite Belgian releases

Mike Keirsbilck is co-founder of the Belgian underground label Consouling Sounds. With the label they have an eye out on the world, but a heart for the local music scene. He admits that he could’ve easily made a list with one hundred songs, but at the risk of forgetting too many great bands, he selected 11 tracks you should hear and see to get a glimpse of what the alternative music scene in Belgium has to offer.

1.Amenra – A Mon Âme

Amenra is one of the best live bands, if not the best live band in the world. This video by Willy Vanderperre conveys, with a very different technique, how visceral the music of Amenra can be.

2. Flying Horeseman – Money

With “Night is Long”, Flying Horseman made one of the most adventurous and out-of-the-box rock albums of last year. Money was the first single, and knocked us off our feet instantly.

3. dEUS – Instant Street 

This one’s an oldie, but a classic. dEUS is perhaps one of the most famous Belgian rock bands, and this track particularly shows what they had to offer: great melodies, subtle licks, and a wall of sound to end it all.

4. De Portables – Haut Gay 

De Portables are simply an amazing Belgian band, combining experiment and surrealism with fantastic songs that are unable to be pigeonholed into a genre, but are nonetheless easy on the ears. Try to get “stay with me for a while” out of your head after listening to this one.

5. Balthazar – The Boatman 

As far as we’re concerned, Balthazar might be the best of what Belgian mainstream rock has to offer, just because in fact it’s not mainstream at all. It’s quirky and unruly, but it’s so well made it has – quite rightfully – a widespread appeal.

6. 30,000 Monkies – Coproliet

30,000 Monkies are impossible to get. They bounce all over the place, but they do it with such confidence you take them seriously. Even if they’re incapable of taking themselves seriously.

7. Brutus – Horde 

This is a very young band, but consists of seasoned musicians. And it shows. This track is more or less what started it all. Later this year, their debut full album is bound to make an impact.

8. Raketkanon – Anna

Raketkanon is starting to get known all over the world by now, with the succes of the #2 album. High time to revisit a band classic from #1, bringing an EPIC remake of Guns ’n’ Roses November Rain. Must-see!

9. Nordmann – Alarm! 

Nordmann was the very unlikely runner-up of the most important Belgian rock contest. Unlikely, because the band’s progressive jazz approach is not what you’d expect to see in the final of a rock contest, but especially their live performances are bound to rock your socks off. (Hence this track).

10. The Black Heart Rebellion – Near to Fire For Bricks

Incredible to think this band was rooted in the hardcore/punk scene. Their progression is staggering, with a brand new high added to their career with the release of their latest album People, when you see the smoke, do not think it is fields they’re burning. This was the first video/single, and immediately showed the world they meant business.

11. Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat – The Shadow are You 

Stef Heeren, the man behind that band with the special name, has paved quite a path. He started out in the folk noir scene, then edged towards noise and drone, only to make a complete turn and make singer/songwriter stuff. Eventually, his musical quest led him to more new wave territories. This track is testament to the transition of this creative chameleon.