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.

Pirrès

Pirrès

Pirrès de Knatser, DJ and promoter

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

After working at Wally’s Groove World Record Store for eight years, I started organising parties… A lot of parties. Then I started playing at Café d’Anvers and launched my own project called AMAI at Kaaiman, Antwerp’s most underground club back in the days. My career as a DJ took off and I had the chance to play at renown clubs such as Rex and Badaboum in Paris, Sonar festival in Barcelona, and Extrema in Belgium. Today I’m a member of the Sunday Matinee crew, the co-founder of IN yOUR fACE (parties taking place in underground venues in Antwerp and Brussels) and I am a resident at Ampere. 

How has where you come from shaped who you are?

I was born in a small town called Bornem and my father was a disco DJ, which I used to hate when I was a kid. I was fascinated by music featuring a trumpet, so I listened to a lot of Marvin Gaye and James Brown.  My step brother was a DJ and one day, he gave me his old turntables. That’s how I started practicing, four hours a day, non stop. I got my first residency at an afterparty club in my hometown when I was only 15. One thing left to another and I started organising parties with some friends here and there. But it all became more serious when I turned 18 and moved to Antwerp.

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

Belgium’s rave sounds got internationally recognised thanks to R&S Records, mainly in the UK in the 90s. New Beat also made it accross our borders but mainly in the Netherlands.

What do you know about the country’s nightlife evolution?

Back in the days, Belgium was one of the only countries where you could party from Thursday till Monday non-stop, going from one club to the other. We had so many after party clubs that the country attracted ravers from all around Europe. I don’t think this is the case anymore…

More specifically, can you talk to us about Antwerp’s nightlife scene? What makes it special, who are its main players?

The last few years, we’ve seen a lot of new clubs opening as well as pop-up venues in Antwerp. I guess it’s a good thing for the poeple who don’t like to go out in the same club every week, however I find it a bit sad. Indeed, back in the days you would go to a club because you’d like its musical identity, whereas now, you always have to check the line-up because it’s constanctly changing.

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

The parties where I play !

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

I think we have too many parties compared to the country’s population, so let’s build skyscrapers.

What do you make of having a nightlife mayor?

I think it’s a splendid idea. Can I volunteer?

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

The tools in my bag.

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

Koenie, Raoul and Geoffroy. This is a typical oldschool FOOD Club line-up from the beginning of the house and deephouse scene in Belgium.

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

I had a lot of crazy nights but I’m sure I’ll never forget this one. I was playing with Koenie in Amsterdam and after our set, we put our bags in the trunk and headed back to Antwerp. Once we arrived we were still in a party mood so I dropped my record bags home and went to Café Capital at like 6 in the morning. I got home around 10AM and I realised my bags weren’t there, so I called the club in Amsterdam but they didn’t know anything about it… At the end I realised I just dropped them in the streets about 100 meters away from my house so I ran around the block and, lucky me, they were still there !

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

We are currently working on a new IN yOUR fACE party at a secret location and I have a few international gigs planned as well. From September I will also to quit my dayjob in order to focus exclusively on music and new productions.