An ABC to Belgian club- and nightlife
All the info on these pages is from the mid nineties and no longer up to date.
Neither does it still corespond with the views of the Doctor.
It’s just here because I don’t feel like throwing it away.
Fill Collins Club
I Love Techno
Pablo’s Disco Bar
Ten Days Off
Who’s Who’s land
In the middle of Antwerps Red Light district this is one of the oldest and nicest House clubs in Belgium. Starting of in 1989, during the New Beat craze, it immediately built a name for itself. Pierre, now resident at Fuse made his first DJ-moves here. Ten years on C d’A is still a hot spot in the Antwerp and Belgian club-life. Saturdays are usually Resident nights, but check out their website to know what is going on. There’s heaps of party’s being held there, from glam private receptions over Free Deep House Party’s to live performances.
Culture Club in Gent is one club I know very little about. I know they got nice flyers and the music style is the deeper end of House. They got some impressing guest dj’s, so it could be worth checking out.
Deca is situated in the Overpoortstraat in Gent, the highstreet of student nightlife, with nothing but bars, kebabs and nightshops. Despite the quite beery surroundings, Decadance is pure chemical entertainment. Although most times it’s the local dj’s playing, Green Velvet chose Deca for the release party of the La La Land single. Other nights when you can expect the very small venue to be packed are after Kozzmozz (Kuipke is only 500 meters away) or for other after-party’s.
If you’re in Brussels and looking for some good (Deep) House vinyl, Doctor Vinyl is the place to go. Geert, the owner is not only a very nice guy, he also knows where to find good records. If he’s not behind the counter you might be helped by dj’s such as St. Dic or Marco Bonnafini. The new releases are in special Fataal Fataal in Leuven is a quite small clubnight, situated at Muziekcafé in Leuven. It’s every Thursday, other nights range from Brazil to Rock. Fataal is specially amed at students, who you find plenty in Leuven and for whom Thursday is Saturday (or something like that). The line-up changes every week, but contains only national residents. House, Lounge, Hip-Hop, Breakbeat, Techno or a combination of those styles (there’s a second room), anything is possible.
Fill Collins Club
The Fill Collins Club has got little to nothing to do with the ex-Genisis singer, except for the name. The un-hip name choice is part of the idea of trying to be un- hip, witch immediately makes you very hip, or something like that. An other part of this trying to be un-hip philosophy is not booking any big-name dj’s, although the odd international guest does pop up. FCC is situated in the Red Light district of Antwerp, at the Red & Blue club, infamous for it’s gay party’s. Because of it’s hip status and it being Antwerp you can expect a lot of cool cats (or more likely think-I-m-cool cats). FCC also had a weekly on Friday at the Silo for one month a few years ago, but now it’s just Antwerp on Saturdays.
Food equals quality. In 1998 they even got into the Ministry Of Sound Top 20 of best clubs in the world. Although Food also caters Techno Take-away it’s mainly the Deep House Cuisine that got them their stars. Starting out at Silo in Leuven in 1996 where Food had a weakly night it quickly became an underground success. Not only the locals where impressed, the elite of the Chicago DJ’s also got to love the old Warehouse building at the canal, known as Silo: Sneak and Derrick Carter expressed their love for the place in interviews and where (and still are) regular guests. / The last couple of years Food does only the occasional gig at Silo (like the birthday bash in July or August). There weekly night is Saturday at the Lounge in Brussels and they tour the country with a big crowd event Food Main Course. But if you really want to experience the Food feeling, Silo is still the only place to go.
Fuse has made a name for itself as Belgians premiere Techno club by programming top DJ’s every Saturday. Started up by Peter Decuypere (now Fiesta, I Love Techno) in 1994 at Rue Blaesstraat 208, with two rooms. The main room has always been Techno, the second room (called Motion nowadays) is House, but has also hosted Drum&Bass from 1995 till 1996 and Trance before that. It also had a chill-out room for a while, containing a giant video-wall. Since 1995 Fuse also tours, visiting different Summer Festivals (such as Dour), giving a beach party and a big party in the casino in Ostend (middle of August) and a yearly gig in Kortrijk. / The current resident DJ’s are Pierre, Deg in the Main room, St. Dick, Smos & Baby B and Koenie in the Motion and international residents. The line-up can change from week to week and depends partly on the (usually international) guest DJ who’s playing. The style and notoriety of the music reflects heavily on the crowd, witch can range from random folk to a quite underground. The first coming out especially for Dave Clarcke or big US names, the later for the jet to be discovered star-DJ’s. / Apart from the Fuse nights (every Saturday), there are Mad club and Respect nights about once a month on Friday. Mad Club is a mixed-gay night, with House and Trance and a mad atmosphere. These theme- party’s (Carnival, Christmas, Ibiza, Erotica) include free gifts (according to the theme), male and female strippers and drag queens. Respect is an offshoot off the Parisian Respect is Burning. Music is French House to Disco and guest the DJ’s are usually French.
Groovecity (the official name has the sponsors name in front) is living proof that commercial isn’t always imediatly bad. This event takes place once a year at the Brussels Kart Center in Groot-Bijgaarden, just outside Brussels and has two big halls: Techno Boulevard and House Avenue and two small rooms: Drum&Bass Highway and Chill-Out Road. The line-up isn’t really cutting edge, but it hosts big names, usually at least one of the Detroit masters and some French, British and US A-list DJ’s. Thanks to the massive sponsoring entry- and drink-prices are relatively low. The only down-points are that you have to go outside to go from the Techno to the House room and that there aren’t enough toilets. More than other big events Groovecity succeeds in attracting a big crowd, but also the less mainstream kids.
I Love Techno
ILT is without doubt the biggest Techno-party in Belgium and it’s surrounding country’s. Once a year the five halls of Flanders Expo in Ghent fill with thirty thousand party-people. The line-up tipicly contains a lot of big names out of Detroit, the UK and Europe. Regulars are amongst others Dave Clarke, Sven Väth, Green Velvet. Although the atmosphere has changed a lot since the first years, when ILT was still held in the Vooruit for a crowd of a few thousand Techno-fans, this still is a great party if you like Big Room Techno and huge crowds. The growth of ILT corresponds with the growth of Techno and Dance Music to a mainstream thing. Since a few years ILT is limited to one event a year, witch is held in November.
Kozzmozz has grown from a small party on a boat to a huge event in a sports-stadium in five years. Lately Mathias Kerckhove and the other organizers have been downscaling again to get closer to the original concept and atmosphere. Kozzmozz is Techno, hard Techno, with a small portion of Electro and Acid thrown in. There’s a second room with Tech-House, but it is very small in comparison to the Main Hall. This Main Hall is the center of a cycling ring, witch makes a great décor for this kind of party. Especially the lights are impressing and you can enjoy the site from the tribunes surrounding the ring. Only downside is that the sound isn’t that great unless you’re right in the middle. Kozzmozz has also organized other events such as Retro-Acid, Star Warz and Studio Tek. Retro-Acid is Old Skool Acieed as the name suggests, Star Warz is Drum&Bass and Studio Tek is a Tech-House night. And they also got Studio K, an offshoot of Kozzmozz. Spread the K!
La Rocca in Lier is one of the oldest clubs in Belgium, dating back to the days of New Beat. Situated on the road from Lier to Antwerp it’s part of the phenomenon known as roadside discotheques. This one’s got a nice red carpet and two huge lions, welcoming people pulling up. Inside it’s got lots of mirrors, but all considering it’s not as cheesy as you’d expect. Saturdays Jan Van Biesen is resident and the crowd and music are more mainstream than Sundaynights, with a more gay/glamour/kinky crowd and a bit more underground House. You don’t even have to get of the dancefloor to get a drink, thanks to the tuxedo and bow-tie waiters. And if you’re hungry you can even eat something at the second room/bar/restaurant, where the music is a bit more relaxed going into R&B.
Made in Brussels is Techno (to Tech-House) every Saturday at Cave de la Chapelle (you can guess witch city). Residents play according to the style of the (usually international) guest dj. The club started in 2000 out of the regular party’s under the same name, held in different Brussels locations.
This (a bit grubby) place at Rue du Magisin no. 4 (get it), is the location for quite a few of Brussels “underground” drum&bass party’s. It has a small bar/room downstairs and a bigger room upstairs.
Orbit Dance store and Orbit are the Whalhallas for dj’s and producers respectively. They both offer a very wide range of material for a very good price and with professional advise. The Dance store has got mixers, cd- and tt-decks, amplifiers, speakers, effect-units, lights and anything else a dj could need. Next door Orbit has got synthesizers, drum-computers, sequencers, microphones, software and anything a producer of electronic music could need. Even if you’re not a professional these nice people will give you professional advise.
Pablo’s Disco Bar
This cleverly named bar/club does mainly house. Entry is normaly free, but don’t expect any big name dj’s.
The old trainstaion of Kapellekerk (it’s still a stop for a few trains) was transformed into Recyclart a few years ago. Reecyclart is a cultural project, based mainly on music and young art. The nu-breaks party’s of Essential for one are held here, but there’s also a lot of other organizations who use this quite special location. Sonik Sonik is one of the smallest locations in Brussels, smaller than most cafés.
Soundstation is Lieges best known club. Unfortunatly I’ve never been there, so that’s all I can say about it.
Studio Live is the name under witch Who’s Who’s Land operated while they were officially closed a few years ago. The concept is that of a clubnight witch is more directed at live music. Nowadays there are still some Studio Live party’s at WWL.
Ten days off
Every year, during the second week of July, the whole of Ghent becomes one big party. All kinds of music are represented from World over Rock, Folk to Techno. Since 1995 Ten Days has been taking care of the Techno people during that week. Although the name has changed from Ten Days of Techno to Ten Days Off, to correspond with the wide range of musical styles featured, the emphasis still is on Electronic Dance music. You can expect a high-quality line-up for each of the ten days, every day a different type of music. Ten Days have changed locations every few years, from the Red Tape Building the first year to the Star Building next to ‘t Steen for a couple of years, to the Eskimo Plant, to the Vooruit. Wherever they go next you can expect it to be excellent.
If you are in Brussels and looking for some good electro, Urban Grooves is the place to go.
Who’s Who’s Land
See Studio Live