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.

SOUS:SOL Records

SOUS:SOL Records

Karla Böhm, founder

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

Fascinated by music since my early childhood, I bought my first machinedrum at the age of 18. Then I started travelling across Belgium and Europe, always going out in different clubs in order to refine my style and find diversity. I started producing music for fun but I quickly got a spot behind the decks in my hometown Liège, and later in Brussels. The next natural step was to launch a record label to promote my favourite artists, so I created SOUS:SOL Records, an vinyl-only label with anonymous LP releases. Anonymous releases give me the opportunity to sign artists without taking their fame into account. As a result, each LP we release can be listened to in a neutral way and get authentic feedback.

 

How has where you come from shaped who you are?

I got into drum and bass, techno and minimal at a very young age and I was introduced to electronic music parties at The Soundstation, a former train station turned in to an epic club in Liège. Local organisers and labels like House District, House Running, Atrium and Plastic Hibou gave me the chance to discover renown artists in my hometown, but it’s only later on, when I started partying at Fuse, that I really shaped my musical nightlife identity.

 

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

Belgian nightlife really flourished in the late 80s thanks to the New Beat scene. Clubs opened up all over the country and the Belgian scene attracted lots of international artists. Our nightlife distinguished itself by affordable and never-ending parties with a crazy audience.

“Anonymous releases give me the opportunity to sign artists without taking their fame into account.”

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

Today, Ghent and Antwerp are key players in the scene with clubs like Kompass, Club Vaag and Café d’Anvers. However, if I had to choose my favourite place to party, I would pick Brussels without doubt. There is always so much happening at Fuse, Zodiak and C12, which, by the way, made a sensational start. I would also give props to labels or organisations that have inspired me like Lessizmore, Basic Moves, Futurepast, ROOMIES, Deep In House, Circo Inferno and, last but not least, The Void where I have been resident for a year.

 

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

Amsterdam’s nightlife attracts a lot of tourists and gets a lot more support from the authorities, which is not quite the case in Belgium. As a result they have more money and can organise dozens of festivals in amazing locations, but the down side is there’s also more regulations. To be honest, I think Belgium is not doing too bad when it comes to clubbing and festivals.

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

My perfect night out would take place in a cosy atmosphere, with a quality sound system, a well-thought line-up, nice people, lots of friends and a day off after.

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

 

Walrus – Among The Thugs [BM001]

 

Fern – Bisous (PTN005)

 

Sous:sol 002 – A1

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

My perfect Belgian line-up would be entirely made up of friends because, for me, that’s what nightlife is all about. It is impossible for me to pick only five artists, because there are so many gifted Belgian artists but I would definitely book Issa Maiga, Taret, Nicolas Franken, Gilles, Tomhas, Fernando Costantini and three skilled female artists I had the chance to share stages with, Menica, Gurl and Yentle.

 

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

I will keep playing at The Void as a resident while working hard on my beloved SOUS:SOL Records with my partner and friend Martial Ozag. Besides that, there’s a few exciting national and international gigs coming up.

soundcloud.com/sous_sol_records