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.

Innershades

Innershades

Producer

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today. 

I was born and raised in the city of Aalst, where I still reside to this day.

“Belgians always had an interest in music and when electronic music came along loads of people started getting into it and tried to make some stuff on their own.”

How has where you come from shaped who you are? 

I guess it made me into the person I am today. All of my family members live close by and this city is the place where I spent most of my time during my youth.

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

Actually, it really feels like a  mix of luck and coincidence. Belgians always had an interest in music and when electronic music came along loads of people started getting into it and tried to make some stuff on their own.

What, to you, characterizes the country’s unique nightlife? More specifically, can you talk to us about your home base’s nightlife scene? What makes it special, who are its main players?

Aalst is a small city with a only a small amount of clubs and lots of bars. The city council did a good  good job, in my view, by providing a modern event venue called  “Cinema” to the local youth through which many cool acts came up during the past two years. Youngsters now have a place to discover new things and organise their own events. There’s also Netwerk, a centre for contemporary art, that nowadays screens some interesting arthouse films as well as must-see cinema classics and invited some cool music artists too in the past. Last but not lease, let’s not forget Kings club which has been around for a very long time and just might be one of the last afterhours clubs still standing. Their sound system is one of the best I have ever heard.

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

To me, Brussels is the place to be right now. Lots of interesting things are happening there at the moment.

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

I think we need a new amount of small cosy clubs with a capacity of maximum 150 people to sustain this small underground scene. A place where all the freaks can come together and party.

What can politicians do to better support the homegrown scene/nightlife? For instance, what do you make of Amsterdam having a nightlife mayor? 

I think they need to be a bit more open-minded and let people do their thing instead of restricting a lot of things most of the time.

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

Friends, a certain amount of beer, a good DJ and  a majestic sound system is all I need really.

If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, which one would they be and why? Please also provide YouTube links.                      

J&C Project – Andromedia – ZYX Records 1988

In terms of Belgian New Beat, this one counts as the ‘Holy Grail for me. The haunting Choir synths get me every time. In my humble opinion, it’s one of the best representations on how New Beat should sound.

Lhasa – The Attic – Music Man Record – 1990

One of the best dance tracks to ever come out of Belgium.This is just perfection! For some reason you will always find this one at the peak moment of my set. Wherever I play it it still sound very fresh after all these years.

Hand’s Burn – Good Shot – No Trance Limit Records – 1997

Produced by Marino Stephano, a promising trance producer in the late 90s. He sadly passed away in a car crash before his peak time hit him. It’s one of my favourite DX bassline (I think it’s from a Yamaha dx) ever written. Haunting synths with a superb baseline and a good trance break is all a club needs to really go off.

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

Ssaliva: probably my favorite Belgian producer.

Lawrence Le Doux: a really good DJ and his productions are refreshing.

Diepvries: in my opinion , Belgium’s best Italo disco DJ.

Exalt: They once played in my hometown and blew me away. Their selection is always top notch.

Eklektiker: One of my favorite DJs when it comes to techno and house.

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

That one time I had to DJ in a local club, was completly wasted and accidentally spilled a whole champagne bottle on the light mixer. A few seconds later the electricity shut down and we were in the dark for like 20 minutes until we cleaned everything up.

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

I have some new releases coming up this year. An EP on Nocta Numerica from France, an EP with my good friend Betonkust called “Forever in Boccaccio” which will be an ode to Belgian club music. And by the end of this year, I’m releasing my first full album on the Aalst based label 9300 records.