In and around Leuven with Tangram Records

TANGRAM RECORDS is a Leuven-based label that was founded by Up High Collective (Renaldo Maria and Koen De Petter) and Mophito (Joris Vaes) in November 2012. Today, the imprint is home to such local luminaries as LTGL, Le Motel, Yellowstraps and Moodprint.

Leuven is truly a student city, which means that whilst there are a lot of young people everywhere, they all go home during the weekend. We have the Oude Markt in the city centre, which was the centre of our younger years’ shenanigans. It’s also said to be the longest bar in the world. BAR STAN (Constantin Meunierstraat 2) is our favorite local hangout for work and fun. Founded by friends of ours a few years ago, the interior is self-made and they have a space where they show art such as graphic design or photography. For a quick hangout and coffee-to- go, we’ll go over to MOK (Diestsestraat 165), a new initiative started by young people who took the risk – they have the best coffee, roast it themselves, and even sell it in bulk as well. Bar Stan serves their coffee for example. Then LEUVEN CENTRAL (Margarethaplein 3) is the stop for a perfectly served Stella. Some nights the owner (former owner of Rumba & Co), Gie, will DJ on his cell phone and people will dance, mostly on game nights. It opened about six months ago at most. Say hi to Gie when you’re there. He was supposed to retire; he sold Rumba but then opened Leuven Central. Eat at DONKI (Oude Markt 48) if you want it fast – they have good burritos. ROSSI (Standonckstraat 2) if you want to take your time – a good Italian slow food place. You don’t really get to choose, there is the chef’s menu, a three-course meal with authentic Italian food that’s really (really!) good. He works with very few ingredients, but takes things back to basics. It’s a small room for 30 people at most. If you’re working on a tight budget, head over to LA FILOSOFIA (Parkstraat 2). Put simply, their concept is to offer budget-squeezed students good food and a strong dining experience. Then there is BISTRO TRIBUNAL (Vaartstraat 9) if meat is what you’re after. It’s just in front of the courthouse and they have a sommelier that chooses the wine for you as well as a meat expert who’ll talk to you at length about the types and cuts of meat available, and which one you should go for. It opened about a year and a half ago. For late-night concerts and club-nights go to HET DEPOT (Martelarenplein 12), the one remaining club in the city where we host most of our events. They host mostly concerts. I’m not that big of a shopper but GIRAFFE (Diestsestraat 215) is a place I sometimes go to – they stock records and spray cans. Skateboarding-wise, TWITS (Parijsstraat 52) is the place to go to. Oh and there’s also INN’T JOOR 1 (Ravenstraat 34), which is probably the smallest bar in town. A beer and a boiled egg is their specialty. It looks like a perfect replica of owner Germaine Gilis’ living room – she completes the whole experience. It’s a funny place, not a place we visit every week, but once in a while we go there and have a beer. For a Sunday out in the city, there is MUSEUM-M (Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28), they have an interesting program of exhibitions. You can go there in the winter. Then there is the Dijlepark nearby to go to during summer. It’s a nice park with a small bridge. It’s really romantic.