Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
I’ve been active as a DJ since 1995 and toured worldwide with many residencies at parties and clubs. Today, I’m still active in the music industry with a ticketing/online pre-sale software called Tibbaa Reinventing Ticketing and a streaming studio called Flat A where promoters can organise their own boiler room events and stream DJ sets. Besides that I’m also programming The Gathering (Tomorrowland’s Camping party), playing once or twice a month wherever the Prinz vibes are needed and releasing new music on my label Push It Records from time to time.
How has where you come from shaped who you are?
Dance music got me since the very beginning and it never left me. After seeing the first impressive gig of Derrick May in the early 90s in a club, I was sure I wanted to make a living out of music. This shaped the artist I have become and made me travel the world.
In your view, what explains Belgium’s considerable contribution to global house music?
Belgium is a pioneer in dance music. At the beginning we called it New Beat, which was basically the pre-house/techno era. Producers like Frank Dewulf, T99, CJ Bolland and infamous label R&S Records scored big time worldwide and years later, Belgians are still very much into techno music.
What, to you, characterises the country’s unique nightlife? More specifically, can you talk to us about your home base’s nightlife scene?
Antwerp is going through a tough time at the moment; there’s too much competition so people only tend to go out to see the big names. I think it’s a pity because promoters do a great job at booking interesting DJs and producers, however they struggle to attract people to their events. I think what makes our scene unique is the number of international DJs playing in Antwerp every weekend. And if you look at the whole country, it feels like we have a festival each week. Belgians do like quality and that’s also unique.
In your view, which place in Belgium best symbolises the country’s way of partying?
I wouldn’t want to choose one club or venue in particular. There is quite a few great clubs like Kompass Klub in Ghent, Fuse in Brussels, Café d’Anvers and Ampère in Antwerp or Labyrinth Club in Hasselt. All together, they symbolise the Belgian underground music scene.
What do you think is missing in Belgium nightlife-wise?
Nothing. We have enough clubs, in- and outdoors festivals and there is always a party somewhere.
In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good night?
A nice venue, a quality line-up and a good crowd.
If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, what would they be and why?
Human Resource – Dominator (Frank De Wulf Mix)
This classic still works on the dance floor. Frank De Wulf was one of the first Belgian dance music producers with a techno sound.
Soulwax – E-Talking
These two brothers from Ghent made it to the international top 5 charts and their raving music had an impact on the nightlife in worldwide.
Ramon Tapia – Karma
He’s an example of under music producers in Belgium who’s travelling around the word because of his excellent productions and get to live from it.
If you could put together the line-up of your dreams, which top five Belgian acts would you book and why?
- Jean Lerouge because he plays a great mix of deep house, indie dance and nu-disco. Excellent to start your night;
- Goldfox because he brings a perfect mix of deep and hard techno;
- Eran Aviner because he’s a master in progressive sound; always a strong performance;
- Tom Hades b2b Marco Bailey because they are well-known in the techno scene around the world and they can burn the dance floor;
- Jerrymore because last time I heard his set, he only played his own tech house tracks and it blew me away.
Talk to us about a memorable night out, good or bad.
I’ve been playing a lot in Russia from 2003 to 2007 and had a lot of memorable nights over there. But I remember one in particular where I was asked to play at a private after party at Moscow’s Red Square, a mind-blowing location if you ask me.
What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
I have a few exciting gigs coming up, notably at Tomorrowland, Floorfillers, Lagoa, Club Vaag and Queensday to name a few.