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.

Dali’s Bar

Dali’s Bar

Steph X, manager and DJ

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.

I’m a DJ, producer and manager of the Dali’s Bar in Brussels since 1997. I started organising parties then very soon opened Club XXX in 1992, being the first to bring such names as Laurent Garnier,
Derrick May, Stacey Pullen, Marcello, Dimitri and Mix Master Maurice to Belgium. I also booked Belgian DJs, people such as KiD crème, Deg Geoffroy, Deg, Murvin Jay, Pierre, Marko, Charles Schillings, Olivier Gosseries and the likes. This was way before they were even remotely known to the general public. In 2003 I began producing music, collaborating with Franck Omaley, for instance, or releasing an atmospheric compilation of deep and hypnotic house that promoted Belgian artists.

How has where you come from shaped who you are?

Well, I come from a sporting background and worked as a sports masseur before getting into music but I was growing tired of never being home for three to four days per week. So I began organising events with my brother who was managing a gay club at the time, the Why Not.

Can you talk to us about Brussels’ nightlife scene?

I like the cosy places with an eclectic clientele. I also especially look for places that play deep and groovy house music with hints of techno sounds. In that respect, I’d say my favourite places were Vaudeville, Villa, Mirano, Boccaccio and Café d’Anvers.

To you, which places in Belgium best symbolise the country’s way of partying?

So many. Cafe d’anvers, Fuse, Mirano, Boccaccio, Vaudeville, Rocca, Villa, Kings, 55, I Love Techno, Paradise, Dour Festival, 10Days, Piknik Electronic, Démence, Eskimo and many more.

In your opinion, what is missing in Belgium in terms of nightlife?

Themed evenings in original places with decorations, performances, good music (and not necessarily big foreign  DJs) all in a feel good atmosphere.

In your view, what can politicians do to better support the homegrown scene/nightlife? For instance, what do you make of Amsterdam having a nightlife mayor?

Clearly, we need a better communication between the various different players of the nightlife scene. The idea of a bourgmestre such as the one in Amsterdam makes sense as it facilitates contacts and the different steps between politicians, organisers and club owners.

If you had to pick three essential Belgian house music releases, which one would they be?

  • Sheer Taft feat Ingrid Kudos – Cascades, Bonzai Classics / R&S Records
  • Jaydee – Plastic Dreams, R&S Records
  • Innertales‎– Part Two, Hard Times Recordings

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

Maceo Plex, Laurent Garnier, Carl Craig, Nina Krviz and Henrik Schwarz

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

Ten years ago, for 10DaysOff, I invited myself backstage with the artists and lots of drinks. I stumbled upon Derrick May that I had booked 10 years before and he immediately recognised me. We then spent a night of madness and diatribe!

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

Take care of my family, continue taking care of the Dali’s Bar, spinning at a few nice events and, most importantly, enjoying life.