Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
I started DJing 18 years ago at university parties and I started to make a living out of it when I became a resident at Jeux d’hiver between 2004 and 2011. After a long period of playing eclectic sets infused with disco gems, house classics and more commercial hits, I decided to focus on a more underground sound so I joined the Play Label crew and started a residency at The Wood. At the time I also started producing my own tracks and found a new family with Electronical Reeds. Nowadays, I focus on quality events and spend my time between the studio and my daytime job as a social worker.
How has where you come from shaped who you are?
I think the residencies I had helped me develop good crowd-reading abilities. When you have to play a lot of different music genres and do 8-hour-long sets, your focus needs to stay on the crowd. I think it is crucial even when you’re playing a shorter set of only one genre.
In your view, what explains Belgium’s considerable contribution to global house music? What “makes” our sound what it is?
Belgians have always been music pioneers so it’s obvious that when the electronic music wave hit Europe at the end of the 80s, we were at the forefront of this emerging scene. Our sound is a patchwork of different genres and to me, that’s what makes it so unique. Belgian artists have always been inspired by other people’s music, making it our own by creating new material.
What, to you, characterises the country’s unique nightlife?
Belgium is the crossroad of Europe’s clubbing scene with, at one point during the heydays of rave culture, a club in almost every village of the country. It’s no surprise that the party culture runs through our veins.
More specifically, can you talk to us about your home base’s nightlife scene?
Talking about Brussels’ scene can be tricky. There is not one united scene, but rather many little groups and only a few artists manage to build bridges between them. It’s not only a matter of music genres; it is more about friendships and visions.
To you, which place in Belgium best symbolises the country’s way of partying?
To me there is three different ways of partying nowadays: festivals, indoor raves and clubbing. And the three organisations that best embody each of these three ways are respectively Dour, Kompass and Fuse.
What, in your opinion, is missing in Belgium nightlife-wise?
I don’t think there is something missing in Belgium. However I have to admit I feel sad that the club scene suffers from the fact that the majority of the party crowd is more focused on festivals these days, particularly in Brussels. Also, people tend to party exclusively on weekends, which didn’t use to be the case.
What can politicians do to better support the homegrown scene?
They need to find a solution for noise disturbance. It is always the clubs being blamed, even if it’s been running for decades. If some people want to live near a music venue, it should be their responsibility to soundproof their home. It’s the agent of change principle.
Belgian artists have always been inspired by other people’s music, making it our own by creating new material.
In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good night?
Good quality sound so the level doesn’t need to be too high, a mixed crowd with different genders, origins and social status and of course a good music connoisseur behind the decks.
If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, what would they be and why?
Frank De Wulf – The Tape (Original Mix)
Released on legendary Music Man Records, this track is the perfect example of the Belgian melting pot. Ravy bassline, raw synth and cheap sax samples for a banging dancefloor effect.
Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam (Original Mix)
This track is special for me as it’s one of the first house music tracks I discovered when I was a kid, without knowing anything about electronic music and the importance it would have in my life. It’s also the first big mainstream Belgian house hit.
FCL – It’s You (San Soda’s Panorama Bar Acca Version)
FCL’s take on this E.S.P. classic perfectly reflects the Belgian way of re-interpreting other people’s music. One of the greatest DJ tool I know.
If you could put together the line-up of your dreams, which Belgian acts would you book and why?
There are too many artists to choose from so I would make sure there’s a little bit for everyone so it will be the Dewaele brothers (aka 2 Many Djs) old school style all night long.
Talk to us about a memorable night out, good or bad.
I can’t choose one between all the nights spent behind The Wood’s DJ booth at the Woodstrasse Thurdays, Number Six Saturdays, Play Label’s legendary birthday parties with the second room in the barn, Electronical Reeds label nights and so many others.
What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
Besides my day job, I’ll be spending time in the studio and preparing my gigs. I am currently thinking of launching my own event and a label following my podcast series named Other Dimension.