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.

Kompass Klub

Kompass Klub

Massimo Mephisto, promoter and club owner

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today. 

Besides my job as an artist I am also the owner of Kompass Klub but I prefer to call myself the creative director of the organisation, as it is my main focus as well as my true passion.

How has where you come from shaped who you are? 

It all started with my passion for underground electronic music at the young age of 14. While most kids of my age spent their time hanging around in different bars after school, I was more of an odd geek spending hours in record stores looking for the perfect sound. I felt more comfortable locking myself in my bedroom making music and discovering different synths and drum computers that, at that age, looked like they came from outer space. At the age of sixteen I started sneaking in nightclubs and I realised this was my home. Soon come, I started getting booked. When I finished secondary school, I realised that this was what I wanted to do for a living.

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

Belgium has a rich musical history and we are quite known for being an experimenting country and therefore creating our very own sound. Think New Beat, Front 242, early Belgian house and techno, R&S, Bonzai, Music Man, the B-sides etc.

We didn’t stay stuck in the past, however we kept that rebel mentality that drives us to push limits.

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

We didn’t stay stuck in the past, however we kept that rebel mentality that drives us to push limits.

More specifically, can you talk to us about your home base?

My home base is Kompass Klub and our main vision is to let the artists feel free to express themselves. This also means they have the freedom to experiment new things without having someone watching over their shoulders only thinking about money. I see it as part of my job to educate people and stimulate the underground industry to adapt so I would rather book quality acts, even if they might be too new or unknown for some people. By adapting I don’t mean to just going with the flow: intelligence and quality define music to me.

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

An artist who dares to take risks, a well-designed sound system and ravers with lots of energy.

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

Outlander – Vamp

Front 242 – Moldavia

T99 – Anastatia