Your background and what you do today.
I’m the son of a sound technician and jazz pianist. I started DJ’ing house and techno in 1994 then, together with a few friends, organised local underground parties in our hometown Ghent called Soundattack. Since then, I’ve become a resident at Decadance, host my own parties there (Bang The Box and Off The Grid) and have played across Belgium and Europe. Alongside my DJ activities, I also produce music, with a first 12” coming out on London-based Eukatech Record back in 2006 and subsequent releases under my Wings Of Sound, Double Shift and Seba Lecompte monikers.
Given your years in the game, what advice would you give to future generations of DJs, promoters and producers?
After all these years, the lesson I learnt is that you shouldn’t make any artistic compromises. Do what you love and don’t go for other styles of music because they might be more popular. Changing style will work in the short term, but if you are in it for the long run, then focus on what you really stand for and build your identity. If I had any advice to give to the next generation of artists, I’d tell them to work hard and not get frustrated. If you don’t get the desired result from what you are doing, reflect on yourself and try becoming better instead of blaming others or the current scene.
In your view, what explains Belgium’s considerable contribution to global house music? What “makes” our sound what it is?
Belgium has always been at the forefront of electronic music since the 80s: from popcorn, EBM and New Beat to current house, techno and everything in between.
I don’t know why but Belgians really like energetic electronic music and love to dance to it. That has, in turn, led to many iconic homegrown acts such as Telex, Front 242, Cj Bolland, T99, 2 Many Deejays, Marco Bailey, Kolombo, Charlotte De Witte, San Soda, Locked Groove and many more.
“After all these years, the lesson I learnt is that you shouldn’t make any artistic compromises.”
What, to you, characterises your city’s nightlife?
In my hometown Ghent there has always been a booming underground scene that transcended all musical genres. Think of Nirvana that played its first Belgian gig at Democrazy, or Aphex Twin that signed his first album with Ghent-based R&S Records. To me, Decadance has been the main Ghent club for 21 years now, with Culture Club obviously playing a significant role in local nightlife although it sadly is closed today. Kompass is definitely the new kid on the block and brings strong line-ups to a warehouse setting.
To you, which place in Belgium best symbolises the country’s way of partying?
My all time favourite club in Belgium is Fuse in Brussels. They worked really hard to focus on the sound they love and never made any concessions. What’s more, and on a more personal basis, I’m really proud to have been a monthly resident at Fuse for two years.
What, in your opinion, is missing in Belgium nightlife-wise?
That’s simple: more qualitative clubs as well as more versatile and adventurous bookings.
What can politicians do to better support the homegrown scene? For instance, what do you make of Amsterdam having a nightlife mayor?
The nightlife in cities such as Amsterdam or Berlin gets more recognition by the authorities than in Belgium. The local governments of these cities understand that nightlife is a part of their culture. They understand it is better to embrace it because it attracts a new form of tourism and income for the city. Here in Belgium, some authorities still look at nightlife and clubs as a marginal part of society.
In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good night?
A good crowd, atmosphere, setting and of course good music, organised by promoters with a vision in the long term.
If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, which one would they be and why? Please also provide YouTube links.
Outlander – The Vamp, R&S Records
A classic R&S rave track by Ghent-based artist Outlander.
Perpetual – Blueprints
90’s Detroit-flavoured techno by Belgians Tom De Neef and Yvan Clauwaert on Frank De Wulf’s label Growth.
Frank The Wulf – Reforced – B-sides
Another huge personal favourite classic Belgian sound with a touch of Kraftwerk.
If you could put together the line-up of your dreams, which top five Belgian acts would you book and why?
That’s a tough one because there are so many qualitative acts in our small country. If I could name 10 artists, this would be my selection in techno today: Kr!z, Border One, Linear Straight, Soren Aalberg, Peter Van Hoesen, Phara, A. Brehme and my Decadance techno colleagues Pete Howl, Man Outta Space and Trixy.
Talk to us about a memorable night out, good or bad.
I have so many good memories of nights out it’s hard to pick just one. The first that comes to mind right now are Kozzmozz parties on a small boat for 300 people in Ghent; Fuse’s countless techno parties; Decadance’s family feeling; me dancing my ass off at Silo/Food in Leuven and the first I Love Techno parties in Vooruit.
What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
I have a few great releases coming up and I’m also finalising some new work together with Soren Aalberg. And I’ll be playing a few festivals in Belgium and German over the summer.