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.

Frank De Wulf

Frank De Wulf

DJ and producer

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I was around 10 when I first started experimenting with tape decks. Then, in high school, I visited a local radio station and I was impressed by their setup so I asked if I could try mixing on their turntables. It felt great! From there I started my own radio show and in 1985, I started playing at Ghent’s dance cafés. The New Beat movement had just started so I felt the need to produce music, rather than playing other people’s tracks. One of my first releases was a 12-inch Acid Rock track and it became a big hit. Then I started my B-side series, which was also a success so one thing led to another and I started playing around the world. Today, I still feel the same need to make music.

How has where you come from shaped who you are?

I’m from Ghent, so Boccaccio was the place that introduced me to New Beat. I came in at the end of that era and made one or two New Beat tracks before I got influenced by the techno scene and mixed Belgian sound with Detroit, Brooklyn and New York music. Also, my dear friend Renaat from R&S Records strongly influenced me, giving me the chance to meet great artists like Derrick May or Moby when we used to just hang out in his living room.

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

Belgium’s main contribution to electronic music was New Beat, which appeared over here in some very big nightclubs. Boccacio played a 45rpm record at 33rpm and plus eight. So you got this slowed down breakbeat. It was like new wave music played in a weird way and people embraced it brilliantly, so other clubs took it over and producers started making New Beat tracks.

Belgians will always be partying, so we need nice locations for that.

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

I must say the music and clubbing scenes have tremendously changed over the years and I love that there’s so much music out there. Of course, like in the 90s, a lot of it is not good but there’s good stuff too. Today, any kid can buy some software and make music; there’s no limit to their creativity.

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

Boccacio, without doubt.

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

Belgians will always be partying, so we need nice locations for that. Clubs are going through a tough period, I can’t really explain why but I guess I can name a few factors like political disputes, noise complaints and musical choices.

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

Kevin Saunderson – Rock to the beat

The Age of Love – The Age of Love

Underworld – Jumbo

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

Now that I’m back in the studio, I like to experiment with my new equipment and sound. So stay tuned.