Belgium Underground : interview of Catherine Plenevaux

13 September 2017

Catherine Plenevaux is the founder and editor of Brussels record label Lexi Disques. Since its first release in 2008, the single la pente/loupiotes by Benjamin Franklin, this boutique label proposes records at the crossing of experimental music and pop. With a special affection for 45 rpm vinyl eps, the label is sometimes a challenge for […]

Belgium Underground : interview of Etienne Vernaeve

10 November 2016

Drummer of the legendary new-wave band Isolation Ward, Etienne Vernaeve had palyed with several bands before settling nowadays with Babils. He ran for a few years in the 1980’s a couple of famous cassette labels such as solide plaque, bande blanche ou encore présence. He now lives in Céroux-Mousty and loves to take photographs of people sleeping in trains.

Belgium Underground: interview of Kloot Per W

21 October 2016

Multisided artist, painter, graphic designer, guitarist, singer, producer, Kloot per W begun his carreer playing bass in the band The Misters than guitar with The Employees before joining Polyphonic Size. He went on to produce a great number of belgian bands and artists and making a few legendary solo albuls and cassettes, that are now reeissued by labels such as Starman and Walhalla records. His drawings and paintings, pop and brutal, anti-conceptual, are regularly exposed in museums and galeries across the country. He has been touring for about ten years with a big ensemble named The Belpop Bastards. Belgium Underground has interviewed him in his garden.

Belgium Underground : interview with Lieven de Ridder

9 September 2016

Lieven de Ridder is a real music fanatic, more precisely he is a devoted fan of the underground belgian electronic scene of the 1980’s. He has rapidely evolved from a simple collector to a concert and festival curator, before setting up the label Walhalla Records to share his passion for the most obscure bands of that time. He offers a second life to unsuspected gems, originally published in limited editions on cassette tapes, now reissued for the first time on vinyl. With five volumes since 2010, his series of anthologies Underground Belgian Wave has quickly become essential, and he has recently added a volume dedicated to wave singles, as well as some judicious reissues (Asmodaeus, Kloot Per W, Bene Gesserit, Arbeid Adelt!)

Belgium Underground : interview with Lieven de Ridder

9 September 2016

Lieven de Ridder is a real music fanatic, more precisely he is a devoted fan of the underground belgian electronic scene of the 1980’s. He has rapidely evolved from a simple collector to a concert and festival curator, before setting up the label Walhalla Records to share his passion for the most obscure bands of that time. He offers a second life to unsuspected gems, originally published in limited editions on cassette tapes, now reissued for the first time on vinyl. With five volumes since 2010, his series of anthologies Underground Belgian Wave has quickly become essential, and he has recently added a volume dedicated to wave singles, as well as some judicious reissues (Asmodaeus, Kloot Per W, Bene Gesserit, Arbeid Adelt!)

Belgium Underground : interview of Patrick Stas

12 August 2016

Au début des années 1980 sortait de nulle part Home Produkt, un label proposant une musique étrange dans des emballages non moins étranges. Patrick Stas, le fondateur de ce label, nous raconte la genèse de perles de la musique underground belge comme la compilation “Brabançonnes”, une double cassette contenant plus de trente versions de l’hymne national, ou encore “An Der Schönen Blauen Donau”, trente reprises délirantes du beau danube bleu, accompagné d’une truite en carton. Il nous confie son amour des objets produits en série et l’histoire du Gheneral Thi et les fourmis, ainsi que de Tarzan, l’ami des éléphants.

Belgium Underground : interview of Stephan Barbery

15 July 2016

Active since the end of the 1970s, Stephan Barbery has gone through (and taken part in) punk, new-wave, cold wave, post-punk and is now pursuing a career made of his own experimental music and the psychedelic improvisations of Babils. Guitarist for numerous bands, such as Thrills, Digital dance, Snowy red, Marine, Kid Montana or Ink (with Drita Kotaji), he is also a graphic designer, he has conceived a lot of record covers, and he has produced a number of fanzines (the punkzine Bobel Simplex, among others). He is also the founder of the labels Camera Obscura and Digital records.

Belgium Underground: interview of Stéphan Barbery

15 July 2016

Active since the end of the 1970s, Stéphan Barbery has gone through (and taken part in) punk, new-wave, cold wave, post-punk and is now pursuing a career made of his own experimental music and the psychedelic improvisations of Babils. Guitarist for numerous bands, such as Thrills, Digital dance, Snowy red, Marine, Kid Montana or Ink (with Drita Kotaji), he is also a graphic designer, he has conceived a lot of record covers, and he has produced a number of fanzines (the punkzine Bobel Simplex, among others). He is also the founder of the labels Camera Obscura and Digital records.

Belgium Underground : interview with Nicolas Ekla

24 June 2016

Since his beginnings with his band Paratroops and then with Trumpet Call, Nicolas Ekla has carried on in his own sweet way with legendary groups such as Les Brochettes, Ming and today Lem, a path he narrates in details on his blog mémoire du futur. Fascinated by the french poètes maudits, by Rimbaud, by Baudelaire, Fassbinder’s cinema, Jacno’s electropop, science -fiction, synthesizers, his only fear is airplanes. Belgium Underground interviewed him at home.

Belgium Underground : interview of Alain Neffe

10 June 2016

Fondateur du célèbre label Insane music, et d’une impressionnante quantité de groupes, Human Flesh, Cortex ou encore bien sûr son projet à la plus grande longévité, Bene Gesserit, avec Nadine Bal, Alain Neffe nous raconte sa carrière de musicien, de bricoleur et sa fascination pour le réseau international d’échanges que sont les labels de cassettes.

Belgium Underground : interview with Didier Odieu

4 May 2016

Belgium Underground has met the a-typical and unorthodox singer Didier Odieu, who will retrace his delibeartely chaotic carreer, from his punk debut with the extremely short-lived band Ablasnief Krugzzz, then with Odieu et le Feu. Upsetting, prone to the most unexpected behaviour, more likely to burn his own ship than let himself be cornered, or understood, what Odieu likes is disorder.

Belgium Underground interviews Samy Birnbach

19 April 2016

Fronted by vocalist Samy Birnbach (aka DJ Morpheus, freestyle DJ extraordinaire and compiler of the Freezone series), Minimal Compact were one of the most inspirational bands of the 80’s. Founded in Tel Aviv in 1981, Minimal Compact was one of the first bands signed by the Crammed discs label. The band relocated to Brussels and became a major player in the belgian underground scene, collaborating with other expats like Colin Newman or the members of Tuxedomoon, as well as local musicians like Marc Hollander or Benjamin Lew. The band split in 1988, Rami Fortis and Berry Sakharof going on under the name Foreign Affair at first and then FortisSakharof while Malka Spigel and Max Franken went on to form Githead (with Colin Newman and Robin Rimbaud) and Samy Birnbach relaunched his carrer as a DJ under the name DJ Morpheus.

Théâtre 140, Jo Dekmine and his fairgrounds shack

5 April 2016

What remains of his flamboyant presence at Théâtre 140 can be expressed in one word: audacity! A kind of imaginative nerve, unified in focus, which Piero Kenrolls openly acknowledges in the second chapter of his book Gravé dans le Rock: “The dullness of its name, due to the fact that it was located at 140 Avenue Plasky in Schaerbeek, sheds no light on its often bold program. Aside from the avant-garde plays, the stand-up comedian acts, and the various cultural events that were as gratifying as they were unexpected, Dekmine was the first to have the nerve to book pop music at his venue.”

Belgium Underground : Cédric Stevens interview

15 March 2016

Cédric Stevens has been active since the 1990’s under an impressive list of pseudonyms, among which the most famous is Acid Kirk. He has also launches a series of projects and collaborations that have produced a lasting impression on the world of belgian as well as international electronic music. He has then started to work in different musical genres under his own name or with his project The Syncopated Elevators Legacy. He co-founded Elf Cut records and assumed the role of art director for the label. Nowadays he divides his time between a renewed interest for techno music and other experimental projects such as the psychedelic explorations of his new band South of no north.

Belgium Underground: interview of Alain Lefèbvre

9 March 2016

Drummer Alain Lefèbvre started his long career with punk group Thrills. He then went on to play with Marine and Digital Dance, and with a score of other projects, from Durutti Column to Tuxedomoon, and from Anna Domino to Snowy Red. He is also the co-founder of the label Stilll. He is now busy with a digital label called Off.

La Chapelle – in the late hours in Liège

2 March 2016

At first it was a timely but unpredictable destination. You would go there on Friday or Saturday nights, or sometimes both, without any real plan, any fixed trajectory. It allowed us to temporarily escape from the quiet suburbs where we lived. A week of dull drudgery was followed by a lively weekend, in the enchantment of a club. And a real one at that. Not a ballroom or a dance hall. Not some suburban cabaret. But a club—both literally and figuratively—where you could wander about or settle into a spot and stay for hours under the magic of artificial lights, like on some soft drug for the senses.

Belgium Underground : interview of Gabriel Séverin

16 February 2016

Founder and members of a string of bands among which Ultraphonist, Babils, Dead Hollywood Stars, Jardin d’Usure, Logatomistes, Moonsanto, Silk Saw, Tremolo Dual and more, Gabriel Séverin, akaRob(u)rang, explores various musical styles and various artistic disciplines. He is also greatly fascinated by obscure avant-gardes.

Belgium Underground met Gabriel Séverin who retraced his musical career so far.

Underground at the farm

9 February 2016

As an introduction to the exhibition in Louvain-la-neuve, here is the history of the Ferme du Biéreau, and the association “Corps et logis” in a video-montage by Laurence Demaret, accompanied by the music of Philaretordre.

Bloody Belgium

5 February 2016

Some souvenirs from the opening of the exhibition Bloody Belgium at PointCulture Bruxelles on the 22th of january.

The show presents posters by Patrice Poch and photographs by Luc Lacroix of the punk scene of Liège in the late seventies and early eighties, and the book they published together: Bloody Belgium.

Live Sets by Cocaine Piss, Coubiac and Progerians.

Belgium Underground: interview with Xavier Ess

2 February 2016

In 1978, Thrills, the band formed by Xavier Ess with Stephan Barbery and Alain Lefebvre is one of the first punk bands in Belgium. In line with the most radical ideas of the time, they chose to disband one year later to avoid success and the risks of sellout. Xavier Ess will then team with Alain Neffe (founder of the label Insane) and Guy-Marc Hinant (future co-founder of Sub Rosa) to create Pseudocode, a trio of improvised and experimental music that will also have a short lived (2 years) career. The band is now widely recognized as a pionneer of the experimental and industrial music scene.

Micro-labels: more than just records

19 January 2016

It’s above all in terms of structure and methods that the labels discussed here are considered – and often proudly define themselves – as “small.” At the juncture of the 60s and the 70s, a group of cineastes (and then of theorists) advocated against the usual modus operandi of cinematic projection (a projector in its […]

Belgium Underground : interview of Yannick Franck

19 January 2016

Multi-sided creator and explorer of new fields of experimentation, Yannick Franck runs the label Idiosyncratics (he also works for the contemporary art center Les Brasseurs and the magazine Flux News).

He will present his perception of the underground as a “gnostic cultural tradition” and as a place of resistance to and independance from established cultural dogmas, and introduce the work of his label Idiosyncratics.

Wave – genres and sub-genres

6 January 2016

At the end of the 1970s no one would have thought to apply the currently used term post-punk to the motley mix of genres and sub-genres that grew out of the musical continuum of the punk movement. Whether they diverged from punk for aesthetical and ideological reasons, growing away from it, or claimed lineage to […]

Beursschouwburg – unpronouceable since 1965

6 January 2016

There are places that simply by invoking their name call to mind the representation of what they stand for. As if we had always been accustomed to their existence. As if they had always embodied what we believed them to be. As if they were destined to perpetually populate the landscape with their silhouette. The […]

Punk in Belgium, 1976-78

2 December 2015

In the first half of 1976, the then new rock music magazine More! put Patti Smith on the cover of its March issue and dedicated a page and a half in the June issue to her legendary concert in May at the Paul-Emile Janson Auditorium at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, but it was established […]