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Selected and approved by Gabriela, Hannes and Isaline
Brussels-based Christophe Gennen goes by the stage name Real Trvth. This solo project mixes synth-heavy Nineties sounds with upbeat melodies and trap rhythms, now and then accompanied by him singing which makes the songs feel nostalgic for a previous era. Nevertheless Real Trvth’s productions are sometimes reminiscent of Rustie’s earlier work or even Hudson Mohawke. His first self-released EP, Cosmic Fluids, comes with psychedelic artwork by Gennen himself, fully supporting the EP’s message: ‘notion of space / time alteration’. Go see him live to rave and take a trip back in time.
We recently went to Amsterdam’s Progress Bar to investigate what the future of club music might sound like. Since techno and house music are reaching mainstream heights, it’s inevitable that people will look for more exciting alternatives eventually (see also: Berghain’s new floor, Saüle). So maybe innovative producer Evian Christ could give us a glimpse into the future. At Progress Bar the first part of his set consisted exclusively of trance and gabber. Even the most open-minded dancers struggled, and the high BPMs combined with dense smoke and a constant flux of strobe lights made the whole scene feel alienating. However, the uncompromising approach kind of paid off and resulted in a shared excitement in the crowd.
Later, the DJ sets by Kamixlo and Coucou Chloe’s also contained lots of gabber tracks or remixes. Not sure if today’s avant-garde club artists are overreaching themselves and their audience or if they’ll be proven visionary in the end. TBC – watch this space.
12 April-7 May
Pinkie Bowtie, Antwerp
Pinkies up for Antwerp’s new art kid in town: Pinkie Bowtie. After closing the doors of their venue Stadslimiet (now TRAP) at the end of last year, Antwerp-based artists-slash-friends Vaast Colson and Dennis Tyfus joined forces with their Dutch comrade Peter Fengler to create a new art space that will showcase their work. If you missed the grand opening a month ago, you’ll get another chance on 12 April with the festive preview of their second expo: Up- and Downgrades (pt.1) by Dennis Tyfus. On show are a classic ensemble of self-portraits in coloured pencil. The peppy colours entice you into a funny, fairy world – but nothing is as it appears. Put on your glad rags and come get yourselves knocked in the head by the ironic tristesse of Tyfus’s drawings.
If you think opera was nothing but thick-necked baritones and hollering ladies in puffy dresses, you’re in for a surprise. The annual Opera21 festival has made it its mission to expand the definition of the genre and blur its boundaries with other art forms and practices. Taking place from 18 to 30 April in both Antwerp and Ghent, the fifth edition of Opera21 will continue to showcase hybrid scenic experiments that range from installations and performances to experimental interpretations of literary material.
We’re especially excited by Claron McFadden’s Nachtschade: Aubergine, a commentary on migration seen through the eyes of the humble eggplant as it embarks on a quest for identity; Daan Janssens and Fabrice Murgia’s Menuet, where the existentialist themes of Louis Paul Boon’s novel set the tone for the unconventional story of a marriage in shambles; and the stunning multimedia project Revelations from Wim Henderickx and Wouter Van Looy, who use the visions of the medieval mystic Hadewijch to create a wordless ode to transcendental love. Twelve days to alter conventions and shatter preconceptions, with minimal stuffiness guaranteed.
Brussels-based translator, cinephile and all-round awesome chick Vanessa Sutour has something up her sleeve – or, more fittingly, something around her neck. With her project It Came From Planet Wax, Sutour takes the humble circular scarf to new levels of trippy. Her creations are made from a blend of wax and jersey knit, and adorned with motifs that look straight out of a ’60s movie decor. Even better, part of the proceeds go to to the Animaux en Péril association, if you want to reach a paw out to your furry friends in need. Enough said, let’s get waxin’!
Good Friday will henceforth be known as Guy’de Vrijdag. That’s because Brussels rapper Zwangere Guy will be owning it: his new mixtape, Zwangerschapsverlof Vol3, will drop on 14 April, to the delight of anyone who’s been following him and the rest of the Stikstof crew. Drawing from his personal history as well as his relationship to Brussels, Zwangere Guy infuses every track with characteristic humour and a laid-back flow, shuffling effortlessly between French and Dutch over beats that sit somewhere between the breezy and the weird. Notable mentions: the wacky old-school charm of ‘Low & Lowgisch’ and ‘Dandy’, and the unnervingly catchy instant classic that is ‘Tyler Durden’. Zwangere Guy is releasing his mixtape tonight at Crevette Records. Don’t miss out.