Having recorded an exclusive mix for us and having manned the decks at our launch party a few months ago at WIELS, DJ soFa (33) holds a special place in our hearts here at The Word Magazine. Indeed, the veteran Brussels-based DJ and record digger has carved out a reputation for himself as an off-beat and eclectic DJ with a knack for making the crowds shake it to far-flung grooves. Here, he shares with us some of his favourite Belgian releases, including some exclusive uploads to his recently-launched Youtube channel. Expect a history lesson in unheard of national gems.
1 – Roland Delys – Love (Rodel – year unknown)
My personal holy grail of the last year. Since I picked it up I play it almost in each of my sets. Killer organ-disco-psych that blows up every dance floor! The artist and his “orchestre” is well known in a certain rural area of Belgium playing weddings and annual carnivals. I regularly went to the regional flee-markets of his home-town and was lucky enough to find a copy! Thanks to DJ The Wild for introducing me to this one!
2 – Burt Blanca – Taboo 69 (Maurice – 1969)
A very rare track by one of Belgium’s first rock ‘n roll musicians. Wonderful mysterious and exotic psychedelia that totally stands out of Burt Blanca’s discography. A reissue deal has been signed on a promising young Belgian label, so it will soon be available again!
3 – Aksak Maboul – Milano Per Caso (Kamikaze – 1977)
Longtime favourite by Marc Hollander, an influential musician and head of the amazing Crammed discs which has released hundreds of innovating records mostly floating between styles such as world, folk,dub, electronica and pop.
4 – Antena – Camino Del Sol (Les Disques Du Crépuscule – 1982)
Belgian classic full of beauty.
5 – Prismatic Sight – Rock Roll Orage (Galaxy – private press – unknown year)
Another incredible fleemarket find. No comment, no upload, just pure gold!
6 – De Kreet – De Zus Van Adeline (Parsley – 1981)
A lesser-known single of the man behind Pas De Deux with another singer Gaby Geysens.
7 – Bene Gesserit – Deborah, Romina, Martha, Sabrina, Tatiana, Barbara (Insane Music – 2014)
Taking their name from Frank Herbert’s Dune, Bene Geserrit are in my opinion one of the weirdest and most creative bands of Belgium’s flourishing synth-wave scene of the 80s. The couple still compose new music today and have attained a cult status among industrial fans worldwide.
8 – Kurt Van Eeghem – China Jong (Parsley – 1981)
Another lovely disco tune which has become one of my personal classics when I play disco/wave. Apparently this track was a number one in the Italian charts back in the days? If anyone knows more about the chart-story, hit me up:)
9 – The Diskery – Star (Artibano – 1981)
Obscure cosmic disco track produced by Belgo-Italian producer Artibano Benedetto. The organ has this 8-bit feeling which makes it sound like it could be the soundtrack to a pre 80s computer game.
10 – Catherine Jauniaux – Kebadaya (Woof Records – 1983)
A remarkable impro singer who has collaborated with numerous very interesting musicians such as Fred Frith, Otomo Yoshihide, Cristian Marclay, Ikue Mori and many many others.
11 – Combo Belge – Batumambe (Jump & Shout – 1986)
Probably every Belgian and even a lot of French people know this tune from the cult TV-show “Strip-tease”. Actually this tune was covered from the mighty Malian musician Super Biton and therefore probably released in a very limited edition. Super Biton de Ségou is not credited on the record and apparently only 68 copies of the 7inch do exist. Other rumours say that in the recording sessions of the rearranged tune, the Belgian musicians had to drink a lot of precious white wine in order to get an improper result which would fit the spirit of the TV-show.
12 – Teme Tan – Amethys (Limite Records – 2014)
A very catchy and slightly deviant pop song as I like them!
13 – Manuel Ferrero – Fela (unknown)
This weird disco beat is the result of a social animation project with handicapped people in Liège. Never commercially released and limited to 100 copies.
13 – Back & Forth with Herrmutt Lobby & Ojo (Thin Consolation - 2009)
This track came out of a collaborative effort of this eastern Belgian techno-hippie collective. It was released on CD in a beautiful packaging by Brussels-based Thin Consolation. Unfortunately the drummer of Ojo died in a tragic car accident some years ago. RIP.
14 – Rony & Suzy – Putamadre (Lamadameaveclechien – 2012)
A personal favourite because I’ve known this track’s evolution since the mid 90s. There has been different versions of this track played in the energetic live show’s of Rony & Suzy. It was released on the last tape I compiled for the now defunct Lamadameaveclechien label.
15 – Mittland Och Leo – Decades (Jj funhouse – 2014)
My latest Antwerp-based favorite duo of analogue Synthpop and its exceptionally dreamy melodies.
16 – Tav Exotic – Untitled (self released – 2015)
A young Brussels-based Venezuela-Antwerp connection with a very mature “krautput”. Looking forward to the upcoming release on VLEK!!
17 – Lester Lewitt – Kombinations Hypothetiqs (Elf Cut – 2000)
A totally underrated sober and abstract jazz-infected electronica album. Comes in a beautiful triple 7inch gatefold cover on the great, now defunct Elf Cut label. Check!
18 – Mitamura Kandadan ヤマヤマ (Sun Papa & Lawrence Le Doux Mix) (Thin Consolation - 2013)
A sober 4-4 remix of one of my dearest Finders Keepers records by Yamasuki singers. The man behind it is Brussels long-time producer and A-Musik/Sonig affiliate Lawrence Le Doux. The track comes from an album which was a mock of Japanese folk done by a French-Belgian duo Bangalter/Kluger. The first man being the father of Daft Punks Thomas Bangaltar. The name of the band is a hilarious combination of Yamaha and Suzuki. Lawrence Le Doux has been on a roll recently as a DJ and live performer delivering great live shows and adventurous DJ-sets, as I wish more people would do.Listen to exclusive mix 31 by DJ soFa here. And visit his YouTube channel here for more rare grooves.