The House Hundred

Portraits of a scene's past, present and future greats

We’re teaming up with Bulldog to select 100 essential people, places and projects in Belgian house music. From producers and DJs to record labels and festivals, these are the forces driving the homegrown house scene forward, one BPM at a time.

Cédric Dhooghe

Cédric Dhooghe

DJ and founder at InDepth

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I am a sound engineer, a DJ and the founder of InDepth, a radio show and a web magazine that promotes artists from the Belgian electronic scene. When I launched this project three years ago, it was broadcasted on Radio Vibration. Since then, the project has expanded and has become an online magazine with interviews, reviews and podcasts.

How has where you come from shaped who you are?

I am from Brussels and I’m proud to live in a vibrant city that is open to all music genres. It’s a fertile soil for electronic music and I probably wouldn’t have got into house and techno if I hadn’t been born here. I made my way to the industry by digging, DJing and producing. It is only after being involved in numerous projects that my main project InDepth came to maturity.

In your view, what explains Belgium’s considerable contribution to global house music? What “makes” our sound what it is?

Belgium was a pioneer thanks to our New Beat scene, and then we played a key role on the expansion of electronic music on an international level. We have artists who make quality music and who remain very humble, which is probably one of the Belgian sound’s characteristic.

“We should create more interactions between collectives, cities and regions in order to strengthen the Belgian underground electronic scene as a whole.”

What, to you, characterises the country’s unique scene?

For me what makes the Belgian nightlife unique is its diversity. We have talented artists representing the country in every genre so you can always discover something new whether it is in a club, at a pop-up event or on the radio. Besides that, we are lucky to have experienced actors of the industry who are still active today, like club owners and organisers. The combination of these two elements gives Belgium its strength.

More specifically, can you talk to us about Brussels’ nightlife scene and who are its main players?

Brussels follows the same logic but on a smaller scale. Lots of promoters put the spotlight on our panel of electronic music like Play Label Records, Endless, Libertine Supersport, Under My Garage, Brüxsel Jardin, On… The list goes on. Then you also have the pillar of the scene, Fuse, that’s been here since the very beginning.

To you, which place in Belgium best symbolises the country’s way of partying?

I don’t think there’s a particular place that symbolises the party culture better than another. There are artists, clubs and quality concepts all around the country, with some areas more active than others. Brussels has a good local scene, just like Ghent with the Kompass and Decadance; Antwerp, with its pillar Café d’Anvers and new kid in town like Club Vaag; Hasselt with Labyrinth and Forty Five; Charleroi with The Rockerill; and Liège with Cadran and Reflektor. These examples prove that every province contributes to the growth of the Belgian house and techno scene.

What, in your opinion, is missing in Belgium nightlife-wise?

I think we should create more interactions between collectives, cities and regions in order to strengthen the Belgian underground electronic scene as a whole. That being said, Brussels Electronic Marathon is already a big step inside Brussels and I think it is a promising initiative.

What can politicians do to better support the homegrown nightlife?

I think the scene needs more political support. In 2016, the dance tax came back, taxing venues organising events where people dance. More recently, we had Epicerie Moderne and Recyclart closing down, two emblematic places that contributed to Brussels’ underground music culture.  So indeed, Belgian politics should care a bit more about our nightlife and see it as a part of our culture.

In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good night?

For me, the key ingredient for a good night is good music, from both an artistic and technical point of view. A quality line-up needs a good sound system; otherwise both the artists and the crowd won’t enjoy the experience as much.

If you could put together the line-up of your dreams, which top five Belgian acts would you book and why?

I like a lot of artists from different horizons, but I would rather name some that impressed me by their work or gave me the will to do what I do today: A. Brehme, One Track Brain, Nosedrip, Locked Groove and Rick Shiver.

Talk to us about a memorable night out, good or bad.

I had the chance to play for the first time in the Fuse’s main room when I was only 18, it was for the Brussels Brost Festival’s after party. I will never forget this moment, even though I have to admit my tracklist has evolved quite a bit since then.

What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?

InDepth’s team keeps getting bigger and we’re currently working on a series of videos presenting actors of the Belgian electronic scene. Further, the radio is going to cover more various musical styles. And as far as my DJ career is concerned, I want to define my identity more precisely and work on the production of my first EP.