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.

DkA

DkA

Antoine Verbrugge, producer

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today. 

I come from the hard techno scene; that’s what I was really into back in 1997. Later on, I evolved into a more deep house, deep techno profile.

What has shaped your musical identity? 

I was lucky to get in touch with a large variety of musical styles like jazz, hip hop, soul and blues.

“Today, there’s a new generation of Belgian producers exporting themselves around the globe, which is pretty exciting.”

In your view, what explains Belgium’s considerable contribution to global house music?

I think Belgium has had a massive influence on the electronic music scene in the 90s because our country is located in the heart of Europe so we got in touch with many different influences. Today, there’s a new generation of Belgian producers exporting themselves around the globe, which is pretty exciting.

What, to you, characterises the country’s unique nightlife? More specifically, can you talk to us about your home base’s nightlife scene?

What I find amazing is the number of new clubs opening in Belgium lately. Every single weekend, we have the opportunity to see some of the biggest DJs and producers in the world. My home base was Labyrinth, a great example of a nightclub inviting international guests every Saturday.

Which place in Belgium best symbolises the country’s way of partying? 

I can’t select one in particular because, as I said, we have a lot of good clubs in Belgium. I would say places like Labyrinth Club, Fuse, Kompass, Ampere and Rockerill are doing a great job.

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

Our scene could be even more open-minded and so that we can have the same feeling of freedom you experience when you party in Berlin for instance.

What can politicians do to better support the homegrown nightlife?

I think they should simply stop creating rules that prevent us from feeling free.

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

A good crowd, a good sound system and a special location

If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, what would they be?

iO (Mulen) – Flute

The artist isn’t from Belgium, however I picked this track because it was released on Belgian label Eating Records, which might not be that famous yet, but is essential in the scene.

DkA – Lucky 7

Play Label Records do a lot to promote Belgian artists.

DC Salas – Victor

Biologic records is another great Belgian label

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

  • Amelie Lens, because she is a good way to discover what’s happening in Belgium;
  • Gilles, who’s the owner of Eating Records, is not a famous DJ, however he’s the best one I know;
  • Raw District, because they release their tracks on the most famous label in the world;
  • DC Salas, simply because he’s a good producer and DJ;
  • And Maxim Lany, because he knows how to draw the crowd deep into his set.

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

Last New Year’s Eve at Fuse was out of control. I had a lot of great parties in my life, but the crowd on that night was particularly receptive and in a really good mood, which made me enjoy playing that set even more:

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

I will release new tracks on Mau5trap, Aeon, Tale and Tones, as well as the first album of my side project Brussels Pony Club on Amselcom. On top of that I have exciting gigs coming up in Varsovia, Madrid, Slovaia and Croatia to name a few.