Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
I started collecting, producing and DJing music at the age of 14. I bought my first Korg Electribe synthesizer when I was 16 and I released my first EP a few years later on USA Import Music. I also did a few EPs for the Berlin/Italian label WHAT NOW Becomes and just started my own imprint Deep Down together with my good friend Delbaen. The first Deep Down EP came out in November and is called Ethereal EP. I would describe my music as micro house.
I grew up in Essen, a little town in the north of Belgium. Here I had my first parties, often organising them with my close friends. Around 2008 I moved to Antwerp and started visiting Berlin almost every month. From there on, things got more serious. Our Sunday Matinee open airs evolved into an established concept in Antwerp and became the pillar of a great and vibrant scene of DJs and producers.
Besides my solo project as Veebo, I am working on new productions as Pur Sang together with Delbaen and we are designing analogue live shows starting in Fuse at the end of May.
How has where you come from shaped who you are?
I actually had my first techno/house experiences in Essen. At the age of 14 I saw Paul Chambers perform live and DJ sets. Back then he played very experimental and powerful minimal techno. This must have been the first spark. But it’s only when I started to go out in Antwerp and Berlin that I discovered the wider spectrum of house/techno and fell for minimal and microhouse.
In your view, what explains Belgium’s considerable contribution to global house music? What “makes”our sound what it is?
There might have been a Belgian sound in the past, but I don’t think there really is one anymore. To me, Belgians are a great party crowd and this automatically provides a source of inspiration for the creation of new music, no matter which style.
Small venues are important because they give DJs the chance to play long sets of really special music.
What, to you, characterises the country’s unique nightlife? More specifically, can you talk to us about your home base’s nightlife scene? What makes it special, who are its main players?
It’s the rather small concepts that keep pushing house music in Antwerp. For example Feiern, Lucid and Sunday Matinee will never be mass events, but that’s what makes it so special. You often come across the same people and everybody treats each other as a family.
To you, which place in Belgium best symbolises the country’s way of partying?
I would go for Klub Goud because it used to be great both for the DJs and the crowd. The crew was super relaxed and the clubs was spread over two floors, each with their own atmosphere. But if you are looking for something symbolic I say Boothuis Brauhaus. This old ship goes from place to place to find different spots to throw parties. It’s a very intimate space and the roof of the ship opens up through out the night, which is really cool.
What, in your opinion, is missing in Belgium nightlife-wise?
We need much more small, cosy venues, especially in Antwerp. In Brussels you had some cool stuff like Epicerie Moderne but they closed down. It is important because places like these give DJs the chance to play long sets and really special music.
What can politicians do to better support the homegrown nightlife?
Politicians should come over and party! They should look at our human needs, understand that dancing is essential for society and make it easier to open small venues where we can enjoy music.
In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good night?
A good sound system, captivating lights, a group of close friends, a long DJ set by a really motivated DJ, a relaxed venue and the space to do your thing.
If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, what would they be and why?
Joris Vermeiren – Atomium – Discodesafindo
The best stripped-down minimal we have in Belgium. Ricardo Villalobos played it to open and end his Taka Taka mix on Cocoon.
DJ Brandy – Projectile – Wally’s Groove World
A few years back, a Berlin-based friend showed me this and asked me if I knew this Wally’s Groove World.
Junction SM – Radio Calypso – Lessizmore
I always liked Dandy Jack and Sonja Moonear. Sonja’s groove is just the best and Dandy Jack has an animal, childish kind of feel to his music. Lessizmore must be one of the longest running label/party promoting minimal music in Belgium.
If you could put together the line-up of your dreams, which top 5 Belgian acts would you book and why?
- Discodesafinado live, because this duo brings a dreamy, fluffy sonic trip;
- Gols is always good. We had him over last October in Ampere to play with his good friend Audio Werner. Keep an eye out for his upcoming music;
- Walrus’label Basic Moves because Walrus is making his way into the electronic scene with some very strong releases. His DJ sets are always full of special tracks as he is an intensive vinyl digger;
- Issa Maïga is a great guy and he has a lovely selection of the more minimal side of house and techno;
- Delbaen because he always brings tons of energy and sexy vibes when he is playing, no matter what style.
Talk to us about a memorable night out, good or bad?
I would go back to 2011 when we used to organise really small events for a 100 people only. It was called For Those Who Know and I organised it together with Arne, Calvache and Delbaen. It must have been one of the first parties we ever set up together. Back then we were yearning to play our records. The vibe was intimate and a bit mystical with a crowd really interested in house music. Soon come, things started to evolve in Antwerp and this young generation of DJs took over the city. Just check out this little movie and you will see a basement full of people truly enjoying themselves.
What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
I will be working on new music. First Delbaen and I will prepare for the Pur Sang live show to make it extra groovy for the summer. Afterwards I will try to finish a new EP as Veebo. And after the summer, we have a second Deep Down record coming out: this time Delbaen will treat us with his first solo EP.