Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
We’re two girls from a small town in Limburg called Herk-de-Stad with a passion for techno, marketing and red wine. You could call it faith or destiny, but we’re also sisters-in-law. Two years ago we started our online magazine What Happens because of our love for techno. We don’t do it to make money – because we don’t – we do it because it is our passion. We love to write about DJs that inspire us, discover young talents and dance the night away at the finest parties. We started out with just the two of us and today we have an awesome team of eight people with the same passion.
How has where you come from shaped who you are?
Believe it or not but before we started out with What Happens, we were part of another online magazine specialised in electronic music in general. We learned a lot over there but we had a different mindset. We don’t want to write about parties, labels and DJs because they have a lot of likes on their social media. We want to write because we believe in these people and concepts. In the end, our goal was to create an online magazine that was specialised in techno and that’s what we are today.
“In Belgium, there was no such thing as statutory closing times so people traveled to our country to party hard. “
In your view, what explains Belgium’s considerable contribution to global house music? What “makes” our sound what it is?
Belgium had and still has an enormous influence on the house music scene. It started out with New Beat in the 80s, then evolved into EBM, house, techno… Huge players such as R&S Records and Bonzai have a singular sound that inspired many others in the past and present – just look at Nina Kraviz for instance. In Belgium, there was no such thing as statutory closing times so people traveled to our country to party hard.
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?
Our home base is Hasselt. Three years ago, there wasn’t much to do and we had to go to Brussels or Antwerp for a good night out. Nowadays though, there’s a party here every Friday, Saturday and even Sunday. Parties are popping out left right and center like there’s no tomorrow. What’s more, with Labyrinth we now have a huge player in Hasselt, and Forty Five is also throwing a party now and then whilst an increasing number of smaller venues are finding their way to good night outs.
To you, which place in Belgium best symbolises the country’s way of partying?
We would say Brussels because of the Fuse, but we think that Ghent is taking over with concepts such as Kompass, Ohm and Kozzmozz. People are crazy and rave every weekend on the best line-ups that Belgium has ever seen.
What, in your opinion, is missing in Belgium nightlife-wise?
Promotors, clubs and producers need to work together. Concepts like Amsterdam Dance Event, where thousands of people gather for one week with the same mindset, are the key to the future of our nightlife. Clubs such as Berghain for instance are open all weekend. The club is open from Friday at noon until Monday at noon and people are allowed to enter whenever they want. And our country definitely needs clubs that are open all weekend.
What can politicians do to better support the homegrown scene/nightlife? For instance, what do you make of Amsterdam having a nightlife mayor?
We are in need of decent transport during the weekends as well as at night. And a nightlife major would be a key driving force towards this. People need to be able to go safely to a party and more importantly, come home safely too. In terms of infrastructure, warehouses, companies and houses that are abandoned could be transformed into popup clubs. This could be a huge opportunity for starting concepts or for people who want to try their hand at launching a club.
In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a good night?
A nice concept, an industrial location and one hell of a line-up. Think Paula Temple, Perc, Ghosts in the Machine, Dax J en Kobosil all in one.
If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, what would they be and why?
Test – Overdub
A track that was released when we were barely one year old and makes us feel like we’re 16 again. Abstract techno all the way.
Soulwatcher – Club E
Classic. Produced by the genius duo Marco Bailey and Red d.
Outlander – Vamp
Still gets us dancing after all those years
If you could put together the line-up of your dreams, which top five Belgian acts would you book and why?
Amelie Lens, SP-X, Cellini, Phara and Marco Bailey. Marco Bailey has been in the scene for such a long time! He keeps on producing amazing tracks and he’s a great DJ. Amelie Lens because we love her productions, she’s a heartwarming person and a great DJ too. When both of them play you realise it’s all about the passion. SP-X, Cellini and Phara are the three best (new) talents we discovered in the last few years. We believe in their qualities and we love their sound and their productions.
Talk to us about a memorable night out, good or bad.
KNTXT at Fuse in 2016 with Paula Temple, Amelie Lens, Clouds and Charlotte de Witte. Oh, and Bjarki at Pukkelpop 2017. These two were unforgettable. Sometimes you experience nights in a way that everything falls into place. The location, the mood, the music, the party people. The atmosphere in Fuse is unique. You get such a good vibe over there. People unite to dance and listen to good music. Which brings me to the music. Paula Temple, Amelie Lens, Clouds and Charlotte de Witte were the perfect combination. Techno like it should be. Bjarki, on the other hand, played a majestic set at Pukkelpop 2017.
What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?
A lot of festivals, articles and pounding techno music