Seasoned radio operator Koen Van Dijk (1980) has, for over ten years now, been in charge of late night programs at FM Brussel, enlisting the talents of local DJ acts such as Onda Sonora, DJ Kwak, DC Salas, L-fetes, Funky Bompa and many others in bringing a bit of groove to the city’s nightscape. Having just been appointed Chief of radio department at the newly-named Bruzz (what most of us still know as the constellation of local imprints FM Brussel, Agenda Magazine, Brussel Deze Week and TV Brussel), we couldn’t resist asking Koen for his favourite Belgian releases.
1. Kiss The Anus of a Black Cat – Sighing, Seething, Soothing (From the If The Sky Falls, We Shall Catch Larks album out on K-RAA-K, 2005)
The first record of the band blew me away. Since then I buy all their releases. They just released a new album. Since ‘Weltuntergangsstimmung’ their sound affiliates more with new wave, but the first records make a nice mix between dark folk, post rock and psychedelica.
2. R.A.W. – Shit, Goddamn (Out on Eighttrack Recordings, 1999)
When I lived in Antwerp as a young almost-adult USA Import was a record shop I visited a lot. The best house grooves you could find over there. R.A.W. was a project of Café d’Anvers resident deejays at the time, Smoss & Baby B. Good times!
3. Ozark Henry – Radio (From the This Last Warm Solitude album, out on Double T, 1998)
First track from the second album by Ozark Henry. Not the most well known single. It was released before his breakthrough album ‘Birthmarks’. I discovered the track on a compilation I won after (loosing) a music quiz that year. It is still my favourite Ozark track.
4. Prothèse – Tumeurs (Out on Sandwich Records, 1981)
Early project by Daniel Bressanutti who became (more) famous with the band Front 242.
5. The Partchesz – Fare You Well (From the The Parchesz album, out on Dim Din Records, 2007)
Project by Bjorn Eriksson and Nathalie Delcroix, these days better known a as Eriksson Delcroix. I discovered The Partchesz through my uncle who asked me if I could find the album on cd. Funny enough Eriksson Delcroix did an interview at FM Brussel the day after. Bjorn told me he still had boxes full of albums at home, but you couldn’t buy them in the shops no more. So he would send me two copies. But I guess he forgot. So I’m still looking for it.
6. Mugwump – Halo (From the Unspell album, out on Subfield, 2015)
I was very surprised by the first album of Mugwump, the alter ego of Brussels’ nightlife legend Geoffroy. It’s a mixture of krautrock, new wave, psychedelica and pop music. You should definitely check his Leftorium party’s in Brussels and radio show on FM Brussel that goes by the same name. His running mate DC Salas, who is a contributor to the Mugwump live shows, will release a full album in December. Looking forward to that one!
7. Luc Van Acker – Zanna (From the The Ship album, out on Emi Music Belgium, 1984)
Enfant terrible of the Belgian music scene. He collaborated with Arbeid Adelt, Revolting Cocks and many other artists. This single was also an inspiration for my daughter’s name.
8. Jan Swerts – Alkenstraat 9 (From the Weg album), out on eigen beheer, 2010)
My girlfriend always cries when we play the record. What can I say? Blame the pianist?
9. Zolex – More Mystery (Out on Dance Opera, 1993)
This single was my introduction to the Dance Opera label. I liked the dark, mysterious sound immediately. I was 13 years old and listening in bed with a cassette player to this stuff. Two years later I would go to a club for the first time and dance my ass off to this music. On the b-side you find Time Modulator, better known as Black Out. A cult hard trance track.
10. Snowy Red – Sinking Down (From the Snowy Red album, out on Dirty Dance, 1981)
If you don’t know Snowy Red yet, check out his discography. It is not that large, but Micky Mike had a big influence on our Belgian music scene. His son now runs the great Weyrd Son label.
11. Wim Mertens – Mystik (From the For Amusement Only album, out on Les Disques Du Crépuscule, 1980)
Any of the tracks on ‘Amusement Only’ you will find on a ‘best-of’ compilation. It’s a very experimental album, recorded with pinball machines. My mother is a big fan of Mertens, but I don’t think she will like his debut album. I heard it for the first time when Belgian artist Daan chose his favourite records for an interview at FM Brussel.
12. MC Dusaar – Fitnessstyle (Out on eigen beheer, 2010)
Famous in Limburg. I have to be honest: I never heard of them until one of the band members, Cesario, became my neighbour in Brussels. I love the video clips and the beyond hilarious lyrics.
13. The Names – CAT (From the Postcard Views album, out on LTM, 1985)
Great and cult post-punk band from Brussels. The track is also featured on the fabulous From Brussels With Love compilation.
14. Phlitman & Kang – Mr. Wilson’s Routine (From the Velvet Coma Hotel album, out on Bananafishin’ Records, 2011)
Described as “the funniest post-rock band” by its fans. Obvious, with cartoonist Kim “Kim” Duchateau as a band member. If you like this, you should also check out his radio show Dwalmacat, hitting the air waves for more than 15 years.
15. At The Villa People – Open Your Eyes (Out on At The Villa, 1997)
This one’s for my love of Belgian club culture. Thank you Jozef Devillé for making The Sound Of Belgium. It meant a lot to me.